Thrillers tend to be plot heavy and character thin. Usually, however, the primary protagonist is more complex by necessity since he must drive the plot like a race driver behind a Peugot.
Gabriel Farago’s history based thriller, The Empress Holds the Key, is unusual in that instead of a single protagonist, he gives us at least half a dozen main characters. As a result, each character of necessity is secondary to the underlying story, which is not always a blessing.
In several instances Farago’s plot moves past a character so fast loose ends are left behind. Jack Rogan, an investigative reporter, seems to be the primary protagonist early on along with Jana, a woman he dated in the past and who comes back in his life with a case that interests both.