An Introduction to:

An Introduction to: The Stone Balancer by John Townsend

There’s no body and there’s no evidence.

But Fin is convinced it was murder.

Fin’s fourteenth summer, at home by the sea in August, should be fantastic…but it isn’t. He’s a keen stone balancer, spending hours alone on the beach building stone towers. That’s where he is the only witness to an apparent murder on the cliff.

There’s no body and there’s no evidence of murder, but Fin is convinced that somebody has been killed. With his mother seriously ill and a nasty uncle now in charge, Fin is pursued and forced into hiding.

He and his new (and only) friend Sophie must take drastic action to solve a sinister and complex mystery – before the murderer kills again.

Fin, on the eve of his fourteenth birthday, discovers something ghastly. A human hand sticking up from the sand is seen in the background of his photo. John Townsend’s The Stone Balancer truly is the definition of a page turner. The mystery surrounding the missing woman, a purse empty apart from a poem, and a lost earring keeps you in suspense until the very last page. Written in an engaging style, clues about the main characters, as well as the murder, spring up unexpectedly. Townsend crafts the story so the reader also becomes a detective, and they are just as shocked about what comes to light as our hero Fin. With a rescued kitten, a raging uncle to escape from, several near death experiences and a mother in hospital, Fin’s story catapults you into the centre of a gripping murder mystery.
It’s a hell of a ride, so best you strap in.

5 reasons to read The Stone Balancer

  • The clues are so subtly placed you will find yourself flummoxed when they are finally put together and thinking “I did NOT see that coming”.
  • Fin and Sophie are rounded, three dimensional characters who both have such intriguing backstories. Their lives are riveting to follow.
  • Kittens, beaches and murder. What more could you need?
  • The asides from Fin, especially those concerning his mother feel genuine and are touching to read. The use of newspaper articles and blog posts within the narrative create a realistic and exciting text.
  • Finally: it’s time for the eternal question, whodunnit? Surely you want to find out…


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