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Crow Stone [Paperback]

Jenni Mills
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
RRP: £7.99
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Book Description

5 May 2008

A compulsively readable thriller that skillfully weaves together past and present to uncover the sinister secrets buried in the ancient stone quarries under Bath.

Kit Parry is reluctant to take the job shoring up the ancient quarries beneath her hometown of Bath – a place as riddled with memories she’d rather forget as it is with Roman ruins. The miners certainly don’t want her there, and her burgeoning romance with lanky foreman Gary looks likely to complicate matters even further.

But when dark developments threaten the spa town’s placid façade, Kit must face up to the past she’s tried so desperately to bury. Someone wants her out of Bath – that much is clear – but who was it that brought her childhood to an abrupt end in the summer of her fourteenth year? Why has she never been back to Bath, and how did she escape her violent father? When Kit stumbles across evidence of a lost Mithraic temple, the mysteries in her own past become entangled with a search for what could be the archaeological discovery of the decade – and what turns into a dangerous obsession…

Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (5 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007247133
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007247134
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 19.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 454,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'An amazingly accomplished first novel – intricately plotted and with a terrific, engaging protagonist. Anyone who has so much as a hint of claustrophobia or fear of pot holes should read it only in daylight with the windows open.' Jenni Murray, author and broadcaster

'Ingenious, well-plotted and…really holds the attention. It's a damn good read.' Susan Hill

'[A] taut archaeological thriller…Mills gradually leaches out Kit's unstable history which, combined with the fissured roof, conflicting loyalties and predatory men, keeps the adrenaline flowing high.' Financial Times

'The geological and archaeological background lends colour without overwhelming an elaborate, convincing plot, and the characters are really believable. This is a remarkably accomplished and well-written first novel.' Literary Review

'A compelling thriller…When Kit finds evidence of what could be an amazing archaeological discovery, the secrets of her past become caught up with the race to uncover the mystery hidden in the mines – which results in a chilling climax…Ingenious.' Editor's Choice, Closer magazine

'Nail-biting suspense.' Woman & Home

'Jenni Mills weaves together the threads of past and present mysteries masterfully in this superb, complex story. Be sure to switch off the phone and bolt the door because this is a genuine page-turner which will keep you gripped to the end.' Waterstones Books Quarterly

'Set in Bath, the plot weaves mystery, archaeology, suspense, romance, and the intricacies of family life into a brilliantly readable thriller.' Woman's Weekly

'Undoubtedly…a thriller, but equally a love story, a tragedy and a story of family…a gripping page-turner.’ Nottingham Evening Post

‘Part suspense thriller, part coming-of-age tale, part Time Team scenario and part love story, “Crow Stone” screams “bestseller” from each of its 400 pages.’ Publishing News

Book Description

The darker the past, the deeper the secrets

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Thriller 4 May 2007
By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER
Jenni Mills has worked in broadcasting as a presenter and producer both with BBC Radio Four and also in television as a director for both BBC and ITV. Among her credits are several series on landscape archaeology and history. Jenni lives in the West of England.

Kit Parry is a woman with a past, a past she would much rather forget, but unfortunately it is not that easy. She now has an extremely successful career as an engineer, but has spent all her adult life trying to forget what happened when she was a fourteen year old girl. When she gets what she considers a dream job in her home town of Bath, her spirits soar. She has the task of shoring up the ancient quarries underneath her hometown, but the secrets that she has so desperately tried to keep buried are beginning to work their way to the surface. Beneath its beautiful façade the old town is as riddled with unwanted memories as it is Roman ruins.

As well as the bad memories of her past, Kit has not got a much better present. Her ex-husband is pestering her for money, the miners are making it blatantly obvious that the resent her and someone is making it pretty obvious that she is not wanted in Bath. Then she discovers what could turn out to be the archaeology discovery of the decade - a lost Roman temple, dedicated to the mysterious cult of Mithras - suddenly Kit's past is becoming entangled with a present-day race to find the secret of the stone mines, a quest that becomes a dangerous obsession.

Kit's story is played out in the bowels of the earth beneath one of the oldest cities in Britain. Events progress like an express train, until past and present are in grave danger of colliding with chilling consequences for Kit. The walls that Kit has built around herself threaten to come tumbling down and falling walls tend to crush people . . .
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning debut 17 May 2007
This is a stunning debut - a gripping psychological thriller that hooks you in from word one and then opens out into a gripping plot with pace, articulate and complex characters, wit, tension and a great ending.

Jenni Mills has constructed an intriguing and multi-layered story built around Kit, a mining engineer, who finds herself back in the Bath she left as a teenager, whisked away in a black car in mysterious circumstances. Back then she was Katie, growing up with an unpredictable father, searching for her mother, making friends, falling in love, buying clothes, studying, partying and generally have a difficult time.

Now she is back, unwillingly and with a gloriously gay archaeology professor in tow, to shore up the unstable mines around her old home. He is in on the trail of the temple of a secretive pre-Christian sect somewhere under the city. She just wants to get the job done, bury the past and leave - but someone is watching in the shadows and will use her past and her present to threaten her life and her sanity.

Effortlessly moving between the 1970s and the present day, this is a story told with a lightness of touch and great comic moments which belie its eventual dark and disturbing revelations.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rollercoaster 28 Mar 2007
By kehs TOP 1000 REVIEWER
CROW STONE is a wonderfully sinister, psychological, suspense novel, which skilfully weaves together past and present to create an addictive page-turning and extremely well written rollercoaster of a novel.

It starts in the 1970s, when something happens to fourteen-year-old Katie that changes the course of her life forever. She lives with her strict father who forbids any reference to her absent mother. Katie escapes from the pressures of family life and schoolwork by exploring the Roman stone mines that are underneath Bath. Various events start to come together and result in a terrible act of betrayal that she tries to bury as deep as the mines she loves.

Twenty years on, we find Katie - now calling herself Kit - returning to Bath for the first time since that summer. She is now a mining engineer, and is overseeing a project to stabilise the old mines and fill them with concrete. But there are secrets hidden underground, and danger awaits Kit Parry in the ancient quarries. Someone wants her out of Bath - who was it that brought her childhood to an abrupt end in the summer of her fourteenth year? Why has she never been back to Bath? How did she escape her violent father? Why did her mother leave her? All of these questions are concluded in a fantastic nail biting ending.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised 14 May 2008
I almost didn't buy this book because the cover was a bit girly! But I am glad I did. It is a well written psychological thriller about a woman who returns to her home town having reinvented herself for reasons which eventually become clear.

The setting - mine reclamation - is unusual but the situations in which the main character finds herself will resonate particularly with women operating in male dominated industries. That said, the men are not cardboard cut outs many of them are very sympathetic characters so the book is not one dimensional. There are also a number of entertaining descriptions of the behaviour of hormonally flushed teenage girls which will again make female readers alternately laugh and shudder. Not quite sure what male readers will make of them but don't be put off by this review, this isn't chick lit this is a good book.

The whole is an enjoyable read which I recommend to those who are looking for a mystery story which is a bit different.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally convincing page turner
Brilliantly read by actress Joanna David, this cleverly constructed novel is original in so many ways: The construction - seamlessly weaving the past and present of the heroine... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Angela C
5.0 out of 5 stars CROW STONE
Published 3 months ago by Judith St John
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripped me from the first few pages!
Really well written thriller - a believable heroine and a decent plot. I'm not far from Bath, so there was an added local interest for me. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Cheryl and cats
4.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK
Thoroughly enjoyed this book.. A good read!, One of the best books I have read for a long time, and I do read a great number of books.
Published 14 months ago by C Wallace
5.0 out of 5 stars an gripping read.
Kit is an engineer called in to work on the 'quarries' under the city of Bath. However, on her first day on the job, she bumps into someone from the past, and soon, she finds out... Read more
Published 14 months ago by J. Turner
4.0 out of 5 stars The smallest and darkest out of a set of very small, very dark...
Marvellously well-researched and covering some of the history and mythology of stone quarrying (though never intrusively), this thriller, involves a feisty protagonist, Kit Parry,... Read more
Published on 24 May 2011 by Eileen Shaw
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read
As engineer Kit digs underground she confronts the stories and myths of the stone quarries around Bath; these resonate with her own childhood history which unravels in parallel... Read more
Published on 21 April 2011 by CM
5.0 out of 5 stars A great first novel
I read another readers review of this book abnd bought the book on the strength of it. It was an excellent choice. Read more
Published on 2 Dec 2010 by rhosymynydd
2.0 out of 5 stars dull and annoying
I found this book to be tedious and the main characters were one dimensional and annoying. I was shocked at how the main female character was portrayed, talk about stereotyping... Read more
Published on 13 Jun 2010 by E. Lewis
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow burner
"Crow Stone" is an excellent read. It tells two stories in parallel - those of the young Katie, abandoned by her mother and brought up by her moody, difficult father in a Bath... Read more
Published on 30 Sep 2009 by D. Harris
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