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The Stone Council (Harvill Crime in Vintage) Paperback – November 5, 2002

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Product Details

  • Series: Harvill Crime in Vintage
  • Paperback: 373 pages
  • Publisher: Random House UK (November 5, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860469965
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860469961
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,981,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Mongolian mysticism, assassins with psychic powers, a nuclear accident and a lethal unknown villain are only a few of the obstacles a lone woman must overcome to save her comatose adopted son in this unusual thriller. Diane Thiberge was brutally attacked as a teen and avoids social contact until adopting a young Asian boy from a Bangkok orphanage. Seven-year-old Lucien turns her life around, but only three weeks after his arrival, a car accident near her home in Paris leaves him in a coma. Mysterious doctor Rolf van Kaen makes a midnight hospital visit and reverses the coma, but is later found with his heart exploded in a slaughter technique the police trace to northern Mongolia; van Kaen himself is identified as a former East German Communist who worked at a nuclear fusion lab (tokamak) in Mongolia. Convinced the car wreck was no accident, Diane investigates Lucien's background and discovers that he is a member of a tiny Mongolian tribe, the Tsevens, who live near the tokamak, and that he was a chosen child, a spiritual medium for his people. A revelation from Lucien sends her to Moscow, then on to Mongolia as she fights to save her adopted son. Each character comes quirkily alive on the page in this action-packed tale, and despite its tortuous curves, the plot never loses the reader. The excessive gore, over-the-top revelations and psychic spin may deter some, but Grange's paranormal screamer of a thriller succeeds on its own terms.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


“A hair-raising thriller…The Stone Council encompasses telepathy, hypnosis, psychokinesis, state secrets and recondite forms of killing…. I loved it." -- Anita Brookner, The Spectator

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 31, 2002
Format: Hardcover
this is an unusual book and a very compelling read. the translation is superb. although originally written in french, it is mercifully lacking in froggy aspects. there is plenty of action and excellent characterisation.
i bought this book in paperback in switzerland, and observe that paperback editions are available there many months before they come out in the usa or england, which is odd.
the occult and the exotic are mingled without descent into the unconvincing. an astonishing scope of geography and ethnology is encompassed.
the only fault in the plot is the ridiculous notion that the bad guy would fix up an elaborate car crash to kill the little boy, when that task could have been done much more simply. also the author seems to believe, perhaps a french notion, that there are five states of matter instead of the classical three.
nonetheless these are minor criticisms in a truly imaginative thriller that is wonderfully engaging and very well written, though one wonders how much that is due to the translator's skills.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Juday VINE VOICE on December 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
"Diane Thiberge has just 48 hours, not a minute more." THE STONE COUNCIL starts off fast, and gets faster and more complex as things go along. Inexplicable things start happening, and people start dying.
I loved it. The plot revolves around a 30 year old ethologist who specializies in the study of predatory animals. This knowledge serves her well as we unravel the mysteries of who this killer is, why they are killing, why they kill in the creepy ways that they kill, and finally how Diane came to be in the middle of this story. Unraveling all that leads us to explore telepathy, psychokinesis and how the Soviet state funded research in these areas. In the process, we see Diane come to know herself.
THE STONE COUNCIL delivers everything you want in a thriller, down to the surprise revelation at the end that brings all the disparate plot elements together at last.
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Format: Paperback
An assault victim herself when she was a teenager Diane Thiberge (Monica Bellucci played the role in the film version) is an ethnologist and a martial artist. She adopted an Asian child Liu-San, (she christened him Lucien), as part of her search for a meaning for life. When nightmares and Lucien's accident plunged Diane into another tragic path - a series of murders may have a relation to her adopted son, who might be a prey for supernatural forces.

Jean-Christophe Grangé is the author of unusual thrillers like Les rivières pourpres or Blood Red Rivers (film Crimson Rivers) and L'Empire des loups - Empire of the Wolves (made into film with the same name). His plots and unpredictable twists are a delight, and this novel is following the same path. However, there is a difference, unlike his previous works; Stone Council is progressing a bit slow. Which might irritate some readers but the thrill is there and Stone Council is still full of the unique Grangé touch. So I am giving full marks to this one.
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