Quick note: do not read the brief blurb for the fourth novel before reading it. It clarifies the role of a main protagonist, while a pleasure of the first third to a half is wondering where these characters fit and their roles.
Ok - have finished volume 2 and thoroughly enjoyed it. It completes some of the picture seen in volume 1 explaining the blast, raises questions about where Satler is, and the question of Guezzler broadens from merely his puppetmaster-like role, but also his identity at the end of 2. The book discussed in 1 was a film in 2 and will be volume 3. So 4 will have to wait to supply more answers.
I am getting through this quickly - don't often read through a novel as big as this so precipitously. What is glorious is the questions it leaves unanswered!
And now finsihed. The final volume continued from the end of the first. Introduced some new characters, revisited some old. A very clever use of the book by one character. Some questions answered, not all ends tied. But another very good read.
Overall well worth the time and money - and enjoyable and thought provoking read. He is great at creating a sense of dread. DON'T READ THE BLURB FOR THE HIT BEFORE STARTING - IT IS A TERRIBLE SPOILER.
Recurring aspects: unidentified deaths, unknown deaths. Misidenticication, misunderstanding. Uncertainty as to the fate of characters. Coincidences.
Well managed development of our understanding.
I was wondering about the placement of The Kill as the third volume. It doesn't directly link in terms of characters, however what I think is that it is largely there as a metafictional game - to remind us that everything between the covers is a novel; and that seeking answers for all the uncertainties in the 3 other books is like expecting the third book to be true - it is all lies. Themes/strands of the overall novel are exlored in this one. But that all 4 novels refelect life in terms of its undertainty and openness.
And a final note on the embedded material - it is interesting and adds a little detail but is not essential. The final film, which explains how Mr Wolf & his brother got the original original novel for their exploits in part 3 was filmed at Halong Bay (which I visited recently) and coincidentaly I have changed my phone wallpaper to a panorama of the bay as it works very nicely with iOS 7 - but coincidence or what!!!!
FINAL FINAL NOTE a couple of days later: This novel, set of novels has stuck with me - thinking about the plot, the fascinating intertwining and the simple pleasure. Well written, well plotted and fascinating - it is totally absorbing as a straight novel, but retrospectively mesmerising in its structure. I read all 1000+ paper pages on my iPhone & enjoyed every minute. Get the free first volume & you will want to buy the other 3 - money well specnt.