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Blood From Stone

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  250 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Marianne Shearer is at the height of her career, a dauntingly successful barrister, respected by her peers and revered by her clients. So why has she killed herself? Her latest case had again resulted in an acquittal, although the outcome was principally due to the death of the prime witness after Marianne's forceful cross-examination. Had this wholly professional and unem ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 6th 2008 by Sphere (first published 2008)
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3.50  · 
Rating details
 ·  250 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Jul 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
BLOOD FROM STONE was recently announced as the winner of the 2008 Duncan Lawrie Dagger, presented by the Crime Writers' Association in the UK. Reading a prize-winning novel for review always presents a slightly different set of questions to answer - the obvious one being why did it win? Frances Fyfield is the author of around 17 previous novels incidentally.

BLOOD FROM STONE is essentially the story of Marianne Shearer; successful criminal barrister and defence counsel; wealthy and supposedly ext
Dec 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Blood From Stone is a riveting crime thriller set in London that follows the unraveling of an intricate web of secrets and search for the truth behind ruthless criminal defense attorney Marianne Shearer's apparent suicide. After successfully defending a man accused of the kidnap, rape and torture of women in a high profile case, Marianne leaps to her death from a sixth floor balcony of a Kensington hotel. What would cause this cold-hearted and ruthlessly successful attorney to kill herself? This ...more
Jan 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Henrietta Joyce and her family are still recovering from her sister's trial as a victim of kidnap and abuse which led to her suicide. Marianne Shearer, the defending attorney, of the assailant, Rick Boyd, has apparently just committed suicide. Fellow attorneys, Thomas and Peter investigate the death.

Multiple mysteries and intrigues are layered into the narrative surrounding both the trial and attorney suicide, yet the author does a remarkable job of bringing a sense of closure and tying up major
May 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'm surprised that this was a prize winning crime novel, as it really didn't feel like a terribly good book to me. I think, perhaps, the author's style was just not to my liking, as certainly plenty of people here seem to have really enjoyed it. I personally felt that a lot of the writing was stilted, with sentences that didn't go anywhere and remained rather bland statements, and characters who often, I felt, had the same voices. The heroine could have been an intriguing character and, actually ...more
Shonna Froebel
Nov 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The dark psychological mystery is Fyfield's forte, and this one is no exception.
Here we start with the apparent suicide of Marianne Shearer a criminal defense attorney. Her last case was defending a man accused of kidnapping and rape of women. Due to her delays and aggressive reputation, two of the women withdrew from the case. The last one died, causing the case to end in acquittal. Shearer's death has renewed some people's interest in the case.
The unclear instructions that Shearer left for her
Jun 18, 2014 rated it liked it
First book read by this author. Very good construction. Writer a lawyer writing from inside but also with good knowledge of collectors clothing preservation and repair, storage facilities and a controlling sick mind of a man who delights using and destroying vulnerable females rather than support himself. Hen and Peter develop as interesting characters. Actually, her characters come away very well formed with sparse description, which I admire. The deaths have amazing twist! Very good read...... ...more
Nov 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
The ending was not a surprise & was a little weak. It wasn't a terrible book, but the characters seemed a tad too simplified, and you were waiting for them to catch up with what was going on.
This was a strange book about a woman named Marianne who never had much but fancy clothing that she adored and not just fancy but custom tailored and hard to find clothing from yesteryear. . The other thing she had going for herself was a career as a cut throat lawyer who specializes in people who are guilty as sin and proving them innocent with no remorse for doing so. It thus made her rich. Her only friend is a gay man named Thomas and co-worker and a secret lover. Who enjoys giving her clothi ...more
Len Knighton
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not a who-done-it but certainly a book that holds your attention. Fyfield is skilled in creating and developing characters who stir the emotions, positive and negative. Rich Boyd is as evil a character as I’ve encountered in the pages of fiction.
The element of fashion was intriguing to me and I came to understand how one could so embrace a career in designing and creating clothes.
A well-written thriller.

Four stars waxing.
Ariel Caldwell
Feb 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Good pacing. Completely unrelated to my work, which was a joy.
Alan C Weston
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Masterful twisting intrigue

Excellent twisted the am, beautifully written and a real flare for descriptive writing. Easy to read and a real page Turner.
SuzAnne King
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This suspenseful novel had me on the edge. Finished it in 2 days. Will be looking for more of Fyfield.
Joe Shoenfeld
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Nicely done psycho mystery.
Tim Armstrong
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
My first Fyfield that wasn't a Helen West or Sarah Fortune. It didn't disappoint and seemingly others agree, as it won the silver dagger awards in the year of its publication.
Well written.
Lelia Taylor
Nov 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: full-reviews
What would make a woman take her own life, especially one who seems to be at the top of her game, one of the most feared, admired and respected barristers in England? Could it be that having a brilliant career was not enough for Marianne Shearer? Perhaps her reasons—her motivations, so to speak—go much deeper than anyone really suspects because, in fact, no one truly knew Marianne at all. Getting to the truth behind her seemingly inexplicable action will lead more than one person down a twisted ...more
Mar 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Frances Fyfield is a lawyer and so we have to accept that the court room scenes have some veracity in what is a bit of a mixed bag of a book. The whole plot hangs on the death of a woman lawyer who uses very objectionable tactics to defend very unsavoury characters. I have to say that I found it hard to believe that a lawyer would be allowed to get away in court with what this one did, but Ms Fyfield would certainly know far more about that than me so maybe totally obnoxious behaviour, abusing w ...more
Jan 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Claudia
Shelves: bookclub, borrowed, 2011
Marianne Shearer, a ruthless criminal lawyer jumps out of a 6th floor window from a Kensington hotel. Behind, she leaves secrets & people that will have to do their best to understand her death. She had just successfully defended a con man, so could it be that her conscience finally emerged?

This is not the kind of book that I usually read, so it was a very nice surprise when I got so attached to the characters and found it difficult to put this book down! The pace of the story was very good,
Twin Opinions

I am a Fyfield fan, but this was not the book for me. The mystery was great and the book is very well written as all Fyfield's are. She is a great Author! The story is great, I just could not get into it.

I throw myself into characters so when there are multiple points of view I have a harder time getting lost in the author's world. That is my problem with this book I did enjoy the character's though.

Rick is a nasty villain that made the story hang and drag you in. His is just a great bad guy. Fy
A really good book, exciting and interesting, I'm very pleased a friend recommended it to me! Just my cup of tea, a mystery, a thriller, lots of gory details, good characters, extremely fast paced and unputdownable, and set in London. What more could you ask for??
The book starts differently from others of the kind - Marianne Shearer was a ruthless lawyer that just wanted to win every case, no matter what it took and if the defendant was innocent or not. One day, she jumps to her death from a 6th
Feb 10, 2016 rated it liked it
It's a strange thing, this book. For me, mystery novels that give the perp away in the first page aren't much fun. It takes away my competitive stride to figure out who-dunnit before it becomes clearly obvious. But here, in spite of this, I found an intriguing build-up and well fleshed out characters. The only problem is, I couldn't quite get immersed in the book. It was an easy ready, a pleasant read, but not one I would recommend to a fan of the genre. So perhaps it's good that the book won th ...more
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime, fiction, 2014-reads
Moderately page-turning but disappointing. A top criminal defence barrister leaps off a hotel balcony to her death shortly after successfully defending an accused rapist, and mystery ensues. Predictable, and the 'transcripts' of the courtroom scenes were so broadly drawn that they were insulting caricatures of the justice system's failings (which could be more subtly and realistically explored). The sexual violence was also a bit 'off,' prurient, even? I did like the descriptions of clothes, and ...more
Jun 25, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Leer este libro fue como mirar una serie criminal/comedia. La trama es entretenida y fácil de seguir. Y aunque ya te hueles por donde irán los tiros, lo quieres terminar para ver si estabas en lo cierto.


Reading this book was like watching a crime/comedy TV show. The plot is entertaining and easy to follow. And even though you have the feeling how it might end you just keep on reading to make sure your intuition was right.
Oct 18, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a strange, rather brutal read; difficult to get into yet oddly compelling. The author builds up her descriptions rather like complex paintings, regardless of their nature. She has no qualms about shaking her readers' comfort zones, layering art and filth in equal measure - with stunning ability. The plot is good and the ending cunning and satisfying. But would I read it again? Probably not.
Jul 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
Truly excellent and truly different--the suspense novels of Fyfield transcend genre labels, and the author's intelligence and unique outlook shine through in every richly drawn character and every twist of the compelling plot lines. Her long-running series featuring Helen West is superb, but this book--still unreleased in the U.S.--is a departure, a standalone novel about the aftermath of crime and a lawyer's struggle with her own conscience. Odd but superb.
Jan 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
A good psychological thriller beautifully written, and especially captivating to anyone who has loved the art of dressmaking, the history of fashion and the use of colour,texture and design in tailor made clothing. Clever twists and a ruthless protagonist layered with family drama, courtroom clips and romance, make this a memorable read for me.
Rahul Guhabiswas
Oct 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
All in all,an average book.The plot was promising with some unusual professions like garment repairing and selling spaces to keep ones extra belongings...the execution failed.Characters were one dimension & not flesh and blood.However must praise the author on her sudden and thought provoking comments on human nature.Frances fyfield,i guess, can do better than this.
Cynthia First
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
lovely details

Settings crisp and clear, unusual hobby delicately and deliciously described, characters you won't soon forget, delightful plot twists, nice departure from other modern cookie cutter mysteries.
Claire Mkinsi
Feb 12, 2013 rated it liked it
The beginning was good - compelling and mysterious - and some of the characters are well drawn... One or two wonderful passages. I especially liked the unusual descriptions of the fascinating profession of repairing vintage clothes. There is more to this novel than just murder mystery.
Shirley Campbell
Feb 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
Brilliant book as usual she has the ability to feel menaced by some of her characters
Sandy Page
Jul 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was an intense story. Fellow lawyers try to find out why their mutual barrister killed herself.
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Aka Frances Hegarty.

Frances Fyfield is a criminal lawyer, who lives in London and in Deal, by the sea which is her passion. She has won several awards, including the CWA Silver Dagger.