John Stone
'Stone's Fall' by Iain Pears
'Stone's Fall' by Iain Pears

In his internationally bestselling 1997 novel, intriguingly titled "An Instance of the Fingerpost," British author Iain Pears explored the murder of a 17th-century Oxford don via intricate plotting, ambitious structure, unreliable narrators and provocative ideas about Restoration-era politics and science. In his subsequent fiction, Pears has displayed a similar flair for shifting viewpoints and historical periods, as well as obsessive research. His latest, "Stone's Fall," is no exception. The title refers to a mysterious English industrialist named John Stone (given a peerage, and known as Lord Ravenscliff), who in 1909 drops out of a second-floor window in his...