The First Stone is the first novel by a local man, Guido Casale. Guido has lived on the border of Old Isleworth and St Margarets since 1983 and both of his daughters have passed through the St Margarets schools, Orleans Infants and St Stephens. Even though the names have been changed, the book takes place entirely in and around St Margarets. All of the locations are clearly recognisable.
The story itself is of two lives that become briefly intertwined — a young girl and a criminal posing as a neighbour. Their lives have many strange parallels and they become dependant on each other for friendship. The main plots are around a gold bullion robbery and the young girl’s struggle with growing up despite some mental and psychological struggles.
The story however is not a typical crime or psychological thriller, even though it has elements of both — it is really a powerful character drama. The magic of Guido’s writing is ability to portray the story from both the perspectives of the man and the young girl. You can see the world from they way they do — its beautifully done.
I highly recommend getting a copy.
You can purchase the book at the new agents next to the St Margarets Train Station.
Since starting this website, I have always made time to put up all of the stories that I have found or been passed even though it consumes far too much of my family time. The only story that I knowingly failed to write is this one — since May — and it has been bothering me ever since.
However, its wasn’t because I didn’t want write it, it was because I wanted to do it well. I wanted to both interview Guido and read the book. Sadly, I only got a bit of an interview and it took me until last night to finish the book (the complete works of Donna Leon and Jared Diamond got in the way).