The Stone Boy, Paperback
4 out of 5 (3 ratings)


When the elderly Madame Preau returns to her own house after several years spent in a convalescent home, she immediately notices that the neighbourhood has changed.

A new family has moved in next door and, from her window, she watches their three children playing in the garden after school.

Two of the children seem perfectly healthy, but Madame Preau is struck by the third child, who seems listless and stands apart from the others.

When she reports this to social services, they refuse to believe her.

Cut off some years ago from her own grandson, she begins a mission to help this boy, even when those around her start to fear for her sanity. The Stone Boy is an award-winning and darkly atmospheric psychological thriller from a critically acclaimed French author.

Packed with shocking twists and turns that will appeal to fans of Barbara Vine and Erin Kelly, Madame Preau's story will hold you entranced until the very last page.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9781847445834



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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

Quite well-written — and apparently quite well-translated also, though I've only skimmed the French edition (the English translation being the edition available on LT Early Review). Hence 3½***. Mme Préau is quite an interesting character (a "nut case" version of Jane Marple?); her son is a good deal less so; and the other characters are fairly predictable and even wooden. So 3½*** is all this one gets.The story is also quite predictable. Mme Préau is so obviously crazy that it's amazing the French authorities ever let her out on the loose (though perhaps French mental health laws are more civil libertarian than U.S. laws), which did give me a little bit of problem with the story's credibility. For a "thriller," however, <i>The Stone Boy</i> did not have any particular twists or surprises.Again, quite well-written — and it's not at all a bad story either — but I'm a bit puzzled at the hype that this book seems to be getting. Not bad for a quick summer read, but don't rush out to buy it over everything else.

Review by

This is a twisty tale, full of juicy details, the supernatural, crazy cat ladies and mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can see why it has been so popular in France. For Elsa Preau the world is not finite, she sees the dead and shares her visions as a child, for which she is punished. And now as a retired teacher living alone she has become an eccentric old lady whose life is run on a tight schedule, shopping, reading, writing letters to the mayor, walking the neighborhood and spying on her new neighbors. One day over the fence she sees a third child who seems to be neglected and malnourished. She becomes obsessed with the boy who she calls 'the stone boy' and contacts social services and even the police regarding his abuse. Unfortunately there is no record of a third child for the neighbor family and one begins to wonder if the boy exists at all. Has Madame Preau imagined it all? The book is beautifully written and I loved every word of this quirky mysterious tale. My favorite two words from the book, "Damned Diabetic!" You'll see;) Highly recommended.

Review by

When I first started this book, I was turned off to it; it wasn't at all what I was expecting. I read a few reviews which were surprisingly positive (although one had a serious spoiler) and which indicated that the book started slowly, so I decided to stick with it. Once I got past the beginning, I read the rest of the book in one day. The book had twists and turns all the way until the very end, and the story was unique. I ended up finding it a fascinating read. I would highly recommend the book.

Also by Sophie Loubiere