Stone’s Fall by Ian Pears

The year is 1909. John Stone, Lord Ravenscliff, industrialist and manufacturer of armaments to the great powers of the world, has died, falling from an upstairs window of his London House. His widow engages a junior journalist to investigate a mysterious bequest in his will. And so the story begins.

Similarly to An Instance of the Fingerpost, Stone’s Fall is multi-layered. This time the story is told in three parts, by three different narrators, going back in time from London in 1909 to Paris in 1890 and then Venice in 1867. As with Fingerpost, it is only in the very last pages that the threads of the mystery are all pulled together.

Again, this is not a short book – just short of 700 pages in the paperback edition. Reading an Ian Pears book requires patience and perseverance. As I said before, these are literary thrillers; definitely not poolside holiday reads.

Overall, I did not find this as satisfying as An Instance of the Fingerpost. In the last 100 or so pages I could not wait to finish, to be able to close the book and put it down. So I am only giving it 7 out of 10.

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