Simon Beckett

Stone Bruises

"Simon Beckett is a writer of immense power."


Sean is on the run. We don't know why and we don't know from whom, but we do know he's abandoned his battered, blood-stained car in the middle of an isolated part of rural France at the height of a sweltering summer.

Desperate to avoid the police, he takes to the parched field only to be caught in the vicious jaws of a trap. Near unconscious from the pain and loss of blood, he is freed and taken in by two women - daughters of the owner of a rundown local farm with its ramshackle barn, blighted vineyard and the brooding lake.

And it's then that Sean's problems really start....

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There hasn't been a new Simon Beckett novel for three years but ‘Stone Bruises’ is definitely worth the wait. This is not a novel featuring his main character, Dr David Hunter; this is a standalone thriller that will not disappoint any of Beckett’s legion of fans. This has all the trademarks of Beckett's masterly storytelling. Told in the first person we are greeted with mystery and intrigue from the first page; we don't even learn the name of the main character until well into the story. Through Sean's eyes we meet those around him, yet as he can't trust them, neither can we. In the early stages, this book is reminiscent of Stephen King's ‘Misery’ as Sean is confined to a bed and a sinister nurse-like character tends to his wounds but this is more than a horror story, this is a psychological thriller with secrets and lies at its core. As we follow Sean's recovery in the French countryside we're given glimpses of his life in London and what went so badly wrong to bring him here in the first place. Beckett teases us with these short interplays enough to keep us reading and guessing. In my opinion Simon Beckett is a writer of immense power. His use of dialogue and language echoes the late, great Reginald Hill; it's as if every word has been carefully measured and each chapter lovingly crafted. The final twist in the story is astounding and by the time you reach the last page you'll want to go back to the beginning and start all over again. Memo to Simon Beckett: please don't leave it another three years until the next one!

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