I found FSH to be oddly disjointed, compared to earlier Garrett novels (particularly the seamless Old Tin Sorrows, by far the best of the series). Often I had the impression that Cook expected me to understand something that he hadn't bothered to explain, simply because Garrett had understood it -- or perhaps because similar situations in previous novels *had* been spelled out explicitly. Every so often, I'd find myself reading a page three or four times, convinced I'd missed something, because the next page was inexplicable (e.g., the sudden appearence of the Dead Man in the later part of the story).
That said, this was a good, morally ambiguous, sprawling monster of a plot. Without spoiling anything, I can say that this book finally unifies a lot of plot threads that have lurked in the Garrett books for years. The 'all-star-cast' nature of it makes me wonder, actually, where Cook intends to go next. His own military experiences have informed so much of the series' development that I was a bit shocked at the back-cover text of the book announcing the 'end of the war', and now I wonder if the setting can sustain itself without that constant source of angst and suffering.
I can't recommend this as a *first* Garrett novel -- look in used bookstores for some of the earlier, now out-of-print books. Especially Old Tin Sorrows -- did I mention that it's incredible? :-) But as the latest entry in the series, it does its job admirably -- even with the jerky, disjointed nature of the storytelling.