This is my first Ken Follett and I am not impressed. I know alot about his writing process (outlines, etc) and was surprised to find lots of little editing problems (Aliena's age goes from 16-15-17-18 in the first half). The people are all too inter-connected, and everything is very contrived. Overall it is a page turner and easy read, but I'm not really impressed with any of it.
The whole thing is just a good vs. evil epic, all the good characters are always good; the bad characters are always bad. Jack Shareburg's murder is of course caused by Waleran-Hamleigh, because everything bad is caused by them.