A major aspect of the story is the hopelessness of the main characters' struggle. I understand it is a work of fiction and as such, the plotline can develop in any which way. But I found it hard to accomodate to a world in which the antagonist broke every rule and succeeded in every plan, while the heroes played by the book and were systematically crushed.
The author was brilliant in creating a dark and despairing atmosphere but personally, I was annoyed at how easily Regal managed to get things done his way or when the main characters were close to figuring a mystery only to suddenly swerve in another direction or simply seeing the good guys outsmarted, despite evidence of their cleverness. And this exasperation stuck with me for better half of the book.
The second novel ended on a very forlorn note with a lot of loose ends. I'll read the third novel and pray for lighter atmosphere in the story and for a happy ending for the characters I care about.