Stone's Fall

Stone's Fall Stone's Fall by Iain Pears

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Stone’s Fall is a historical novel, no doubt. The atmosphere and scenes are steeped in the 19th century – even the language, if I may assert. In essence, though, this novel is a thriller; and one of the best I’ve ever read, even if I ever read one only occasionally.

It has all the usual elements of that genre: intrigue, espionage, sex. These are the main ingredients, but then Spears throws in more stuff: a little bit of the supernatural in the form of séance, and near the end of the book, we realize there has been incest.

The start of the novel shows us the first main character, Matthew Braddock as an old man attending the funeral of a woman he once worked for and fell in love with. The woman is Elizabeth, who had hired him to investigate the death of her husband. She did not believe it was an accident, his falling from a window. Besides, she wanted to find out why he had left a huge sum of money to a child she never even knew existed.

The book is compartmentalized into three sub-books or sections The first has Matthew working for Elizabeth, the second has one Henry Cort working as a spy for the British government; and the last has Elizabeth’s husband, John Stone telling his side of the story, before his death.

So, you can imagine these would make up quite a hefty novel of over 600 pages. Let me tell you, reading it in my Pocket PC took over 3000 flipping of pages! But, despite this, I never tired of it, as the story and the plot thicken with every page.

In the end, Stone’s Fall took me quite a bit of time to finish. At times Pears gives the reader too much dry information about the world of banking and finance, for example. However, when I was approaching the few final chapters of the third book, I couldn’t put the book (or rather the PPC) down. Like any good thriller with spies and intrigues, it has a good dose of explosions in the end. Verdict: this, very cliché, but very unputdownable.

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