I just finished The Man from Beijing by Henning Mankell and thought it was kind of a mess, frankly. Too sprawling. Too many threads left hanging--and not in a good, artistic way. I've been despairing of late over disappointing mysteries and thrillers. Part of the problem is that they're just too damn long. It's hard for a 500-plus page thriller to hold up under its own weight. The payoff with most of them just isn't there. What's wrong with a tidy slim novel ala Agatha Christie?
I also just finished The Swans of Fifth Avenue, which really captivated me. It's maybe overwritten in some places--especially toward the end. But the imagined lives of Truman Capote and his swans--Babe Paley, Gloria Guinness, C. Z. Guest, et. al.--packed a real emotional punch.