The characters are a bit cliched but it is a long book and you get plenty of time to get to know the main ones. The twists and turns keep it moving along at a good pace. It is essentially a detective story that ranges across the wild west, through the Great War and into thirties and forties political corruption, examining heroism in all these settings.
I laid the sugar barrel on the bottom edge of the hole and shot him. He was knocked backwards into a tree. He looked amazed. Blood spurted from the hole in his chest. He fell to his knees and... I shot him again, this time my bullet tearing into his forehead. His back arched and he fell face down.