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Frances Fyfield is a criminal lawyer, a trade she has used to huge success in many of her novels. She lives in London and in Deal, by the sea which is her passion. She has won several awards, including the Silver Dagger.
Photograph Â© Charlie Hopkinson
A powerful and imaginative thriller, Fyfield builds the tension brilliantly to the final pages. When a tough, successful female barrister is found dead, apparently a suicide, the police make it an open and shut case but others are not convinced and soon it seems the barrister made have even left clues as to what exactly did hen to her. A great thriller and whodunit.
A well-paced and tense novel with intriguing characters. A friendship between two women, poles apart in personality, is the basis for the story and inevitably their differences lead to events taking a sinister turn.
Shortlisted for the 2006 Duncan Lawrie Dagger.Although not a thriller in the conventional sense, this book is tense and incredibly evocative. The textures and smells are so vividly described you become concerned that the person next to you on the bus may be experiencing the same sensations as you are. The book's central theme is loneliness in its many forms but rather than coming away feeling depressed, you are inspired by the tenacity and underlying strength of the perfectly formed and engaging characters.
Sarah Fortune is happy to be sorting out the inheritance problems of the Pardoes, as it promises to distance her from a claustrophobic relationship with Malcolm Cook, and she cannot bear to be a captive. But she soon discovers that guilt, insecurity, unrequited love and a touch of insanity afflict the Pardoes and the seaside town where they live in Norfolk - all a legacy of a suicide of two years before, when a beautiful woman walked into the sea and never came back. And there is another element of the legacy, a white-haired figure some call a ghost and others call a vagrant who roams the beach and harmlessly haunts the town: until he insinuates himself into the power struggles of the Pardoe children and becomes the mysterious and cunning enemy of all concerned.
Someone has stolen the only person John Smith has ever loved - his twin brother Cannon. Johnny will stop at nothing to get him back but Cannon doesn't feel the same way any more. He's married now, and he loves his wife. In a desperate effort to avoid Johnny's destructive brotherly affections, Cannon enlists the aid of Sarah Fortune, a lawyer who has turned helping the needy and eccentric into something of an art form. Sarah hides Cannon's wife for him, but she cannot quite trust Cannon's judgement. Is Johnny really intent on inflicting unendurable pain on the woman who has hi-jacked his brother's affections? Sarah doesn't really believe in evil, and it is that lack of faith which makes her shockingly vulnerable ...
Sarah Fortune is bored to death - but few know, and less would guess, how the beautiful and successful redheaded solicitor escapes the stultifying tedium of her career. Since the death of her unfaithful husband, Sarah has found a practical way of transforming the lives of lonely men that also suits her warm and defiant nature. Kind, witty and obese lawyer Malcolm Cook is the first to benefit from Sarah's generosity - he shrugs off years of weight and loneliness. But then she meets Charles Tysall, an important client of the firm, whose charisma and enormous wealth conceal an implacable will and a misogynist's mad obsession.
Elisabeth is a picture restorer. This gives her the solitude and independence she needs - living and working alone in her flat. Despite her skills and reliability, Elizabeth undercharges for her work - valuing the worth of the paintings rather more than herself. Her ambitions are modest: beauty to look upon, unintrusive friendships and complete privacy. But when a mysterious and obviously wealthy man commissions her to restore his fabulous collection, an uncharacteristic combination of curiosity and financial need prompts her to accept his offer. Elisabeth soon realises her error, as the past and the present combine to make privacy her nemesis. As she becomes hostage to her patron, her lover and her friend realise they know nothing about her, or where she might be.
Beautiful, volatile Jessica has long since burned her boats in the village by the sea where she was born. She longs to return, but first she needs to secure the love of the powerful man who has spurned her obsessive adoration. Sarah Fortune, her older, cynical friend, is keen to distance herself from her usual haunts and welcomes the chance to leave London in the hope that she might she be able to effect a reconciliation between Jessica and her mother. Pennyvale both charms and distracts her with hints of scandal and buried secrets, but it soon begins to disquiet her as cracks of distrust and jealousy show in the polite facades. Sarah is excited when Jessica tells her she is coming home, but she never arrives. Sarah's instinctive knowledge of Jessica leads her back to the capital, fearful of what she will find. What she discovers reveals a truth more chilling than she could have imagined, but she has to return to Pennyvale to fully understand how Jessica was finally brought home, and why...
When Theo Calvert was driven out of the family home by his wife's cloying piety he had determined that his daughters would follow him. But in the face of the law, the girls' health and his wife's intransigence, he failed. But, if he lost the battle for their souls in life, he would make amends in death, craftily shaping his will to benefit them so long as they did not follow their mother's example. His daughters felt they had lost either way, especially Anna. She had promiscuously turned her back on her mother's teachings, but watched in horror as her sister Therese followed those same lessons and naively accepted the faith which Anna was certain had ruined their lives. In her rebellion against such blind belief she at first doesn't notice the worm in their midst when the convent where Therese has settled employs a new gardener. And when she does wake up to the danger she realises she may have left it too late to save their legacy and their lives.
Rachel Doe is a shy accountant at a low ebb in life when she meets charismatic Ivy Schneider, nee Wiseman, at her evening class and her life changes for the better. Ivy is her polar opposite: strong, six years her senior and the romantic survivor of drug addiction, homelessness and the death of her child. Ivy does menial shift work, beholden to no one, and she inspires life; as do her farming parents, with their ramshackle house and its swan-filled lake, the lake where Ivy's daughter drowned. As Rachel grows closer to them all she learns how Ivy came to be married to Carl, the son of a WWII prisoner, as well as the true nature of that marriage to a bullying and ambitious lawyer who has become a judge and who denies her access to her surviving child. Rachel wants justice for Ivy, but Ivy has another agenda and Rachel's naive sense of fair play is no match for the manipulative qualities of the Wisemen women.
Douglas Petty is a man who enjoys his reputation as an unreconstructed male with a penchant for too much wine and too many women. Inheriting his father's eccentric estate and dog sanctuary quietened him a little, and marriage to Amy a little more. Even so, it seemed out of character for him a sue a tabloid newspaper for libel when it printed a scurrilous story about him. His lawyers told him he had a good chance of winning the case, mainly because Amy's testimony would clearly refute the story. But then Amy is involved in a horrendous train crash and while the authorities assume she died in the resulting fire, there is no body to prove it. And if she wasn't killed why has she disappeared and, with no money and no other family, where is she? In a story of mesmerising suspense, Amy slowly reveals why she cannot return to her beloved home, and why she can never escape from the lies she was told as a child.
Young, rich widow Diana Porteous has inherited a vast collection of paintings, but she feels without purpose again. Then her beloved stepgrandson comes up with the idea for an exhibition of portraits with the title 'A Question of Guilt'. It starts as a joke, but soon they are preparing the huge wine cellar of the old schoolhouse by the sea, in spite of those with misgivings as to its suitability. Soon Di has plenty to occupy her: a mysterious woman encourages Di and her friend Sarah Fortune, both natural thieves, to steal from a public collection. And then there's the life-drawing class, where an artist dies and someone steals from him, placing his finds in the cellar. A novel of conundrums, paintings, moral uncertainties and family relationships, A Painted Smile continues the adventures of two of Frances Fyfield's most beloved characters and will win over many more fans of quality fiction.
A year after her husband's death, young widow and art collector Diana Porteous listlessly roams the beach near her home. Her friend and agent Saul takes action, introducing her to his stylish, anarchic sister, Sarah, to pep her up. They plan that Di should rediscover her talents as a thief, as well as art expert, to recover stolen paintings - and begin with Steven, the neighbour's son, who is amassing works of art in a strange building in London, including work stolen from his mother. But if Di is interested in his illicit treasures, he is equally fascinated by hers - and in the secrets still held in that house by the sea. . .
Someone has stolen the only person John Smith ever lovedhis twin brother, Cannon. Johnny will stop at nothing to get him back, but Cannon doesn't feel the same way anymore. He's married now, and he loves his wife. In a desperate effort to avoid Johnny's destructive brotherly affections, Cannon enlists the aid of Sarah Fortune, a lawyer who has turned helping the needy and eccentric into something of an art form. Sarah hides Cannon's wife for him, but she cannot quite trust Cannon's judgment. Is Johnny truly intent on inflicting unendurable pain on the woman who has hijacked his brother's affections? Sarah doesn't really believe in evil, and it is this lack of faith that makes her shockingly vulnerable Fans of Ruth Rendell and Julia Spencer-Fleming will love this atmospheric psychological thriller.
Elisabeth is a picture restorer. This gives her the solitude and independence she needsliving and working alone in her flat. Despite her skills and reliability, Elisabeth undercharges for her workvaluing the worth of the paintings rather more than she values herself. Her ambitions are modest: beauty to look upon, unintrusive friendships, and complete privacy. But when a mysterious and obviously wealthy man commissions her to restore his fabulous collection, an uncharacteristic combination of curiosity and financial need prompts her to accept his offer. Elisabeth soon realizes her error, as the past and the present combine to make privacy her nemesis. As she becomes a hostage to her patron, her lover and her friend realize they know nothing about her, or where she might be.
This sophisticated, psychologically gripping tale about crimes of the most twisted passion is perfect for fans of Linda Fairstein and Patricia Highsmith.The odd, vaguely menacing little man called Mr. Logo is a familiar figure in the old court building in London. Although frequently brought before the judge for indecent assault, he is invariably acquitted due to lack of evidence. He is especially familiar to Helen West, the take-no-prisoners lawyer who has just failed for the fifth time to convict him. Now he is off-limits to her until his next appearance in court. Yet when she befriends Rose, the young, compulsively secretive, and promiscuous clerk in her office, Helen unwittingly sets in motion events that will dangerously complicate her connection to Mr. Logo and push his rage and dark passion to lethal extremes.
When Isabel Burley returns home to care for her mother, who is suffering from Alzheimers, she finds a bemused, angry old woman, prey to the dangers of failing memory, the inability to run her householdand the local villains who are eyeing her isolated home. But as the locals close in, Isabel finds herself struggling with her own emotions. She thinks she has come home to do some good, but is she really looking for the affection she lacked as a child? Alienated by her mothers growing eccentricity, Isabel becomes locked in a relationship of love, conflict, and simmering violence, with roots that go deep into the past.
Family fights, suicides, sirens, death, and even a ghost. Everything happens here Attorney Sarah Fortune is dispatched to a small coastal town to straighten out the financial affairs of the eccentric Pardoe family. The three siblings and their mother, who is suffering from dementia, own most of Merton on Sea. The business of the estate should be simple enough, and Sarah sees the job as an opportunity for a mini-vacationa chance to get out of the city.But she soon discovers that the family, and the town itself, are afflicted by a past filled with guilt, pain, and unrequited love. Most haunting of all, though, is the legacy of a suicide that took place two years ago, when a beautiful woman with an uncanny resemblance to Sarah walked into the sea and never came back Fans of Ruth Rendell and Julia Spencer-Fleming will love this atmospheric psychological thriller.
This searing thriller is perfect for fans of Carol OConnell and Louise Penny.Sarah Fortune is bored to deathbut few know, and fewer would guess, how the beautiful and successful lawyer escapes the stultifying tedium of her career. Since the death of her unfaithful husband, she has been moonlighting as a generous mistress, offering intimate company to lonely men.Sarah is satisfied with her routine. But then she meets Charles Tysall, an important figure at her firm, whose charisma and enormous wealth conceal an implacable will and a misogynists mad aggression. Soon Sarah finds herself implicated in a murder when a decaying body is found off the coast. Inexorably, Sarah is hurtling toward a confrontation where there will be no escape from the shadows, no turning from the face of lethal obsession
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