In a span covering eighty-five years the story of Stone’s Fall moves backwards in time gradually filling in the missing pieces in this masterful novel of industrial espionage, war-mongering, international banking and, finally, tragic love.
The pre-World War One storyline is reminiscent of the mystery and suspense so aptly covered by John Buchan in Thirty Nine Steps as, by trial and error, newspaper reporter Matthew Braddock begins the quest of a dead man to find his missing child. Stone, the deceased, left a tidy sum in his will to the unknown child and his wife, Elisabeth, commissions Braddock to unravel the mystery in order to put the estate to rest.
Pears leads us on a jolly-good romp throughout England and finally throughout Europe to discover the heir to the Stone estate. His voyage of discovery unravels a life of high-stakes financial finance, munitions manufacturing and corruption.
One quickly learns that in the life of this blue-blooded British couple nothing is as it seems. Is Elisabeth really a Hungarian courtesan, why was Stone visiting the medium, Madam Boniska and exactly what information does Henry Cort have over all of them that inspires such dread? Braddock is lucky to come out of the inquiry with his life. Never before has the life a banker been so full of reckless adventure, trickery and passion.
“Stone’s Fall” challenges you on all levels and presents a modern author’s, well-rounded look at history, romance, family secrets and espionage.