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I read a book in the early 1980s (I think, though maybe a bit later) which was set in the Stone Age (approximately) in Southern England.

At one point the hero is enslaved and put to work in a mine named "The Trundle" under the South Downs (chalk hills along the south east coast of England), iirc.

Later, he wreak revenge on someone by laying a trap baited with a deadly biological toxin (maybe ergot) which the villain obligingly falls for, ingests and dies a suitably gruesome death. I think there was some blurb on the back that mentioned that it contains Britain's earliest biological attack.

I imagine the author was British. I think the paperback (which was larger format than Penguins, etc.) was published by one of the publishers who specialised at the time in modern authors, e.g. Picador.

Does anyone recognise this story?

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    Are there any science fiction or fantasy elements to the work? – FuzzyBoots Jan 28 '16 at 20:21
  • @SeanDuggan: Good question. TBH, I posted it here because I mentally categorized it as science fiction (or maybe I mean faction) , and I've no idea how far a story has to depart from known prehistory (if at all) to constitute "fantasy" – MartynA Jan 28 '16 at 20:26
  • I figured someone was going to ask eventually. :) Haven't found the book for you yet. Closest I've found is a book set in prehistoric South Downs, "The Amulet of Tarv: A Romance of the South Downs 1,000 Years B. C." although I've yet to find the text. – FuzzyBoots Jan 28 '16 at 20:35
  • @SeanDuggan: Fwiw, I spent an hour or two trawling "find story from plot" sites with zero success before posting here. And until I mislaid it, it was definitely on one of my SF shelves ;=) – MartynA Jan 28 '16 at 20:40
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    @SeanDuggan It's set in the Stone Age, that makes it science fiction. Prehistoric stories are a part of science fiction, just as much as postapocalyptics, interplanetaries, lab stories, and the rest. – user14111 Jan 28 '16 at 21:56

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