Reader reviews and comments on An Instance of the Fingerpost, plus links to write your own review.

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An Instance of the Fingerpost

by Iain Pears

An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears X
An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears
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  • First Published:
    Mar 1998, 691 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 1999, 735 pages

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There are currently 7 reader reviews for An Instance of the Fingerpost
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Paul Collins

A brilliant book! I was entranced by this superbly written detective book... I simply couldn't put it down.
Paul Penfold

This book is stunning. I will not attemt to describe what goes except to say that if you want a thriller that twists and turns and has your head in a spin look no further. Pears has unlocked a passion for reading that I was not aware of and an enthusiasm to learn more about the middle ages. Deaver look out!!


A thoroughly enjoyable read. Do not cudgel your mind trying to solve it; it's not that kind of mystery novel. Just read it for the pleasure of it. The author evokes early Restoration England well while using modern language. He creates vivid characters and can make those who are meant to be very intelligent and formidable -- Dr. Wallis and John Thurloe in particular comes to mind -- really come across to the reader as bright minds to be reckoned with, a difficult feat. It is long, intricate and involved, so no discredit to the reader if the 'hidden fingerpost' referred to in fitzgerald's review is not apparent on the first read-through. The book is liberally interspersed with different period views on religion, statecraft, science, history and many other subjects, so there are generous helpings of food for thought along the way. Overall a very satisfying experience.
alice wonderland

Still reading, avidly!
Linda.s

Overkill!
Plod, slog, trudge your way through this if you can. I forced myself to continue through 2 sections before giving up. Don't waste your time. (I'm anxious to see how many of my book club will have read more than I.)
Joe Rousmaniere

The endless endless story
What starts off well with a murder and plenty of period color slowly descends into a tedious mess of unsympathetic characters who are impossible to keep track of and subplots which induce headaches. Described to me as the greatest historical novel ever written, I plowed on and on and on, waiting for some relief. Never reached it, and gave up on page 536. Perhaps page 537 held the key to the story but I just couldn't make it


John Fitzgerald
Pears work is a classic of mystery not only for the four sided view of a single event, but also for the mystery within the mystery that some readers will miss. For days after finishing the book, I was nagged by a lingering sense that I had not yet discovered all the passageways inside this labyrinth. When the full story finally formed in my mind, I was flushed with the excitement for a type of storytelling that I thought had not survived 19th century England.

We learn the origin of the title deep into the story; wonderfully, there is a second "fingerpost" that the author has placed for the reader alone to discover.

Of course, I do not expose the hidden, yet revealed gem in this review. This is up to the reader to find and savor.
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