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.

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