I recently finished reading The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. I really enjoyed it. The novel is a historian's tale, about the search for the real Dracula's tomb. It started slowly, but with just enough to intrigue me to read further. The story is about a woman telling her story, her father's story, and (through the father) his mentor's story. I'm amazed at how well she interwove all three tales and timelines. It was always clear who the viewpoint character was in each section. It is in no way chronological. We learn about the past as the narrator does, waiting on the edge of our seats with her until her father is ready to tell more of his chilling tale. It wasn't a scary horror book, but more chilling in the historical, researched way it was presented. It made it terrifyingly real.
One thing that helped me visualize many of the locations in the book, and Vlad Dracula himself, was watching the Lost Worlds documentary on the real Dracula. Learning the facts helped me appreciate how well Kostova mixed fact and fiction. I am awed by the amount of research she must have done for this book.