I am swimming against the current here with just one star, but when you start reading diagonally after a hundred pages, jumping paragraphs, that's what a novel deserves in my view.
My problem with this book is that it is a novel that mimics a true crime story. It does so by being fastidious, but where in a true crime story details are welcomed (they prove that the author made his research, and can give the reader an insight into the criminal mind or at least give him the illusion that he can understand it) they are just in this case annoying. Well, they were for me because I couldn't help thinking that it was all fake.
For example (I want to prove my point), at the start of chapter 5 we have a delailed report of the press conference of Senator Stoner, 4 1/2 pages long, but we have already read in the preceding chapters how he intends to exploit the murders. Almost 5 pages and we don't learn anything new! The novel stalls like this numerous times, just like in the cheapest thrillers where the author adds some kind of filler because he, or she, is just good at describing "intense action".
And just like in a true crime story the scope is panoramic: local, state and federal police; politics, family histories (grandmothers, uncles, victims); local, state and national press, dates, times of day, etc. etc. With this there are several plot lines, but none are developed satisfactorily and the characters are just stereotypes. Lot of work from the author, but the result for me was simply boring.
If you look for the excitement you felt reading Thomas Harris' Hannibal novels, well, you are in for a severe disappointment. And I don't care about Stephen King's quote on the cover: some writers have to provide quotes like this by contract with their publisher, they are not excerpts from a full lenght review somewhere. (Do I sound mad? I am! I feel cheated!)
If you want a novel about "perfect evil" or, more exactly, barbarism, I recommend Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, Or the Evening Redness in the West.