Monday, October 25, 2010

Stone's Fall by Iain Pears

This is a brilliantly intricate historical novel, which centers on the death of a successful British businessman, and is separated into three parts. In part one, after John Stone falls to his death from a window in his London mansion in 1909, Stone's young widow, Elizabeth, hires journalist Matthew Braddock to trace a child of her late husband's she never knew existed until the child is named in his will. Braddock, a novice in the world of finance, uncovers evidence that Stone's actual net worth was far less than commonly believed, even as he finds himself falling for his client. In part two, set in 1890 Paris, Henry Cort, a shadowy spy, provides another perspective on the bewitching Elizabeth. The third part is told from Stone's own point of view, as he reminiscences of his time in Venice in 1867.

I found it really intriguing how each part of the novel ventured further in the past than the one before it. They all involve the same group of people, but at different points in their lives. All the pieces of the full picture don't really come together until the very very end, but each section has its own small mystery that is solved in that section. It is splendidly written-Pear's writing style makes the book very compelling to read, and I was never bored once throughout the 600+ pages. A great book, filled with mystery, love, betrayal, and a whole lot regarding the world of British finance in the early 1900s, which would normally go over my head but with Pears I was able to keep up. Highly recommended for mystery fans.


toni said...

Ooh, interesting how it's broken up into different POV and time frames. I don't think I've read many historical novels (cough/any/cough), but this sounds really good. Thanks for the review!

BookQuoter said...

This is on my TBR. I have heard good things about this book.