Stone's Fall

Stone's Fall

A Novel

Book - 2009
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In this dazzling historical mystery, John Stone, financier and arms dealer, dies falling out of a window at his London home. The quest to uncover the truth behind his death plays out against the backdrop of high-stakes international finance, Europe's first great age of espionage, and the start of the twentieth century's arms race.
Publisher: New York : Spiegel & Grau, 2009
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780385522847
Characteristics: 594 p. ; 25 cm


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Jan 26, 2015

Stone's Fall is another wonderfully baroque, things-are-not-what-they-seem, historical mystery from master storyteller Iain Pears. Be warned: It's a tad slow until the second section (200 pages in or so), and then Pears hits his stride. Don't give up until you get to the second narrator, Henry Cort.

This isn't quite the same jaw-dropping brilliance of An Instance of the Fingerpost but it has the same elaborate masonry and bones of that complex book. Pears is a seriously underrated author. This book is worth reading alone for how he turns financial chicanery and intrigue in the banking world into something so meaty and exciting. Well-researched. Pears isn't a master prose stylist or anything and his sentences won't stop you mid-read to make you marvel at their lovely figures, but none of that matters because the story—the story is king!—just envelops you.

Codexthespius Dec 13, 2010

As well as a comples mystery with many strands to untangle, this is quite a deep commentary on capitalist thinking and on social mores of the 19th century. The book didn't grip me on every page, and one is not meant to warm to it's often unscrupulous characters. Hard capitalists can be passionate, however, and the plots final twists make a satisfying conclusion.

Nov 26, 2010

What a great read. One of the most complex & surprising books I've read. It twists & turns and just when you think you've figured it out...well, you're wrong.
The author has a unique approach to storytelling. It's a compulsive read with a completely surprising ending. Highly recommend.

Dec 17, 2009

A very complex political tale, compelling for those who want to understand what makes the world turn. If you think the answer is plainly what people say it is, you won't get far in the world of business. Read this for insight into how to see behind the facade.


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Codexthespius Dec 13, 2010

A jouranlist is hired by the widow of a wealthy industrialist, who fell to his death from his own front window, to find the unnamed child mentioned in the man's will. From London in 1909, we go back in time to Paris in 1890 then Venice in 1867 to uncover the complex events that led to the man's death.

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