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Saturday, 3 September 2016

Simon Beckett - Stone Bruises

review written and read live on bookshow by Brian Lowen Aug 2016
Sean is on the run. We don’t know why or who he is running from but we do gradually learn this in flashbacks throughout the story.

We meet him as he is abandoning his battered, blood stained car in the depths of rural France in the height of the summer heat.

He takes to the road and starts walking, hitch hiking lifts, but when he stops for a rest in a cool wood he steps on a vicious animal trap and cannot move. He calls for help as he cannot move and feels he is going to die. He sinks into unconsciousness but then is rescued by the two daughters who live on the farm wherein the wood is situated. He is taken down to the farm buildings and kept in a dilapidated barn where he is restored to health, although still having to use a crutch, because of his crushed leg.

When their Father, the surly farmer Ahmed finds out he is being kept there he is furious and demands that Sean do some work to pay for his keep. As Sean struggles to help on the farm he explores this remote place with its locked gates, run down vineyard and brooding lake  and so his adventures begin as he discovers the horrific secrets of this chilling place.

A great story which I thoroughly enjoyed. The atmosphere of the place is well portrayed as are the characters on the farm. You

feel nothing much is happening but it is still a gripping story. Well recommended.

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