The Face Stone

The Face Stone

Product information

June 28th 2022

Do ancient rocks and woodlands really harbour a secret that could bring about worldwide catastrophe? And can saving the health, life, and even mortal soul of one missing boy avert that catastrophe?

The year is 1969, and Jack Sangster, a special investigator for a philanthropic organisation dedicated to helping troubled children, is sent to an elite school, where the son of a wealthy local family has disappeared.

Sangster, despite his talent for dealing with people and problems, only comes upon more mysteries as the case unfolds, struggling to reconcile his natural pragmatism with disturbing questions.

Follow as he navigates clues and red herrings, learning at every turn that if his eyes and ears are to be believed, the stakes linked to this case are rising at an alarming rate. Sangster tries to do the right thing even as his uncertainty rises; all the while a seemingly well-ordered and rational world is slowly revealed to perhaps be older, darker, and more chaotic than he ever imagined…


Customer reviews

Page Turner

Tom S Sime

I very much enjoyed reading this book, and it is certainly a page turner, told from the perspective of the lead character, Jack Sangster as he tries to find out what happened to a young man who has gone missing. As the story develops, we gain an appreciation of the charms of the Wirral in northern England (which is a hidden gem).

The book is set in the late sixties, and the writer captures the period's transition from the post war era to the swinging sixties.

I recommend this book to a reader who enjoys a thriller with interesting twists and is more than just another crime story.

An intriguing book to read.

Brompton Sawdon

The blurb makes this an intriguing book to read. An eco thriller set in the late 60's. A story that promised glimpses into another world. A new writer to read. Yep sounds like my sort of thing. Would the book live up to the hype of the blurb? Well almost. Apart from a few reservations, it was a good read. I'd definitely recommend it. The story follows an education inspector, with a difference. Jack Sangster is a likeable character. He's sent by the mysterious Granville Institute to investigate why a boy at a minor public school is constantly playing truant. When he arrives he finds that the boy has gone missing. Not only the one boy, but two others are missing to. It takes on the air of a cover-up. A cagey headmaster doesn't help Jack, who now assumes something worse is happening. The story is really well written, the conversation spot on. There's an air of humour, a whiff of nostalgia as you navigate the pages. The story is incredibly easy to read. That's not derogatory, but shows an author who is in sync with his readership. There are a lot of facts in this book, lots of information about the natural world, which I loved. It's not fantastical. I loved all this little nuggets of wisdom that appear. The story strides along to the point you're near the end and don't know how it's all going to come together. That may be the one place I think this book is lacking. The main storyline about the boy ends too quickly for me. The adrenaline rush of the rescue near the end is too quick. Other than that, I can't grumble, it's an excellent read. Jack Sangster is a character I want to read more about. I see there are another two planned, both set in the eco world. Four stars, very nearly five for this debut Jack Sangster novel. Look forward to reading more. I received The Face Stone through Netgallery in return for a fair and unbiased review. Thanks also to publishers The Book Guild.

Very interesting plot

Louise Gray

An education inspector is not the protagonist I have come to expect in my thrillers/mysteries but this guy works. Somehow the author has created a period setting which makes sense to the modern reader, with characters, settings and issues which are all eminently relatable. Very interesting plot and there is something out of the ordinary in how the tale is told.

Evocative, mysterious, intriguing...


Evocative, mysterious, intriguing... These are three words that describe this fast-paced page-turner, a story with well observed characters and lots of attention to detail. Whilst reading The Face Stone, I felt plunged into the 1960's, walking side by side with a 'detective' who is not a detective, and was left wondering until almost the very end. Amazon Reviews

I couldn’t put it down

Elizabeth Wroughton

An effortless transportation to another time. The words of The Face Stone leapt off the page the moment I picked it up. My impression is as follows: a nuanced piece of tantalising fiction, with a myriad of fascinating trivia sprinkled throughout the plot. Speaking of the plot, I have yet to come across one quite like this one. It brings to mind the twists and turns of a Jonathan Creek storyline and the intrigue of a classic Poirot mystery. Each character of The Face Stone felt carefully considered, even if they had only a few lines, their presence was purposeful. I found myself both afraid for, and at the same time perhaps disliking, the focus of Sangster’s case, Michael, the being afraid part perhaps not happening as often as it should. It’s intriguing to have a victim that’s also dark, even if it may not be his fault. In any event, Hinton’s unrelenting pursuit of a thrilling novel, from start to finish, is evident.

A real page-turner with a hero you will want to see more of...

Amanda (Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 February 2023)

Lewis Hinton manages perfectly to evoke an era that, whilst it may be in living memory of many of his readers, is far enough from the present day to be history. If you are of a certain age, many of his characters and their settings will transport you right back to that period. But in Jack Sangster, he has created a hero who is both of his time and independent of it, with a measured wisdom and open mindedness that save the day. Add in a fascinating central premise and some unexpected plot twists, and the result is a real page-turner. I’ve just ordered ‘Angel’s Blade’, the next book in the Jack Sangster series!

Book Extracts

Book Information

Available formats

  • Paperback
  • eBook


  • ISBN: 9781914471926
  • ISBN-13: 9781914471926