Frances Fyfield - Cold To The Touch - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9781405520560
    • Publication date:04 Oct 2012

Cold To The Touch

By Frances Fyfield

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

Reissue of a classic Sarah Fortune psychological treat

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 façades. 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...

Biographical Notes

Frances Fyfield has spent much of her professional life practising as a criminal lawyer, work which has informed her highly acclaimed crime novels. She has been the recipient of both the Gold and Silver Crime Writers' Association Daggers. She is also a regular broadcaster on Radio 4, most recently as the presenter of the series 'Tales from the Stave'. She lives in London and in Deal, overlooking the sea which is her passion.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780751574012
  • Publication date: 26 Jul 2018
  • Page count: 256
  • Imprint: Sphere
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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.

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The Nature Of The Beast

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A Painted Smile

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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.

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Casting the First Stone

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Gold Digger

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The warmth of him, the glorious warmth, was fading by the minute.In a huge old school house by the sea, full of precious paintings, Thomas Porteous is dying. His much younger wife Di holds him and mourns. She knows that soon, despite her being his sole inheritor, Thomas's relatives will descend on the collection that was the passion of both of their lives.And descend they do. The two needy daughters, who were poisoned against their father by their defecting mother, are now poison themselves. With the help of an unlikely collection of loners and eccentrics, Di sets a trap to hoist the family members on their own greed. And on the night they are lured to the house, Di will be ready.Or will she?

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A Clear Conscience

Frances Fyfield
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Helen West's personal life is in need of repair, and she decides the first move is to tidy up her home, helped by her cleaning lady, Cath, who is trapped in a miserable marriage. Working by day with domestic violence cases, Helen finds it too easy to turn a blind eye to Cath's unhappiness, but then her personal and professional lives collide as she witnesses the destructive forces of love and guilt, and finds herself applying her own version of justice.

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Deep Sleep

Frances Fyfield
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Pip Carlton is a devoted husband and a highly respected pharmacist, cherished by his loyal customers in Herringbone Parade. When his wife dies in her sleep, without cause and without pain, he is distraught. Comforted by his caring assistant, Pip struggles to take up the threads of his life, ignoring the rumours about Margaret's death, relieved that the police are content to shrug off the mystery.But Helen West, Solicitor and Crown prosecutor, fresh from hospital herself, refuses to believe that Margaret simply slipped into her final slumber. Others are more difficult to convince, including Helen's awkward and pragmatic partner, Detective Superintendent Geoffrey Bailey, and the only people who share her suspicions are a confused and lonely boy and the drug addict who dies so mysteriously in Geoffrey's arms.Memories in the Parade are inflamed by the discovery of an unexploded bomb and in the midst of the evacuation of the streets, one lone man, armed with strange love potions prepares to murder again.

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Shadows on the Mirror

Frances Fyfield
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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.

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Undercurrents

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The Playroom

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The Art Of Drowning

Frances Fyfield
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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 naïve sense of fair play is no match for the manipulative qualities of the Wisemen women.

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Staring At The Light

Frances Fyfield
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Someone has stolen the only person Johnny 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 . . .

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Shadow Play

Frances Fyfield
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Mr Logo is a familiar figure in the courts, frequently accused of indecent assault, but invariably acquitted due to lack of evidence. He is frustratingly familiar to the Crown Prosecutor Helen West, who again has just failed to prosecute him. This isn't the only set-back in her life: her long-term relationship with Geoffrey Bailey is even more brittle, and she has to deal with the insubordination of her office clerk, which unwittingly sets in motion events which push Mr Logo's rage and dark passion to lethal extremes.

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Safer Than Houses

Frances Fyfield
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Seeking Sanctuary

Frances Fyfield
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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.

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Let's Dance

Frances Fyfield
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Isabel Burley returns to her childhood home to look after her mother, Serena, who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. There she finds a bemused, angry, charming old woman, prey to the threats of failing memory, the inability to run her own home - and the local villains who are eyeing her isolated home.As the villains inexorably move in, Isabel finds herself struggling with another threat from within. She thinks she has gone home to do some good, but is she really looking for the love she lacked as a child? Alienated by her mother's growing eccentricity, the two women become locked in a relationship of love, hatred and simmering violence, with roots that go deep into the past.

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Looking Down

Frances Fyfield
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Richard Beaumont hoped to see the elusive crow on the Dover cliffs. Instead he sees a young woman falling to her death.No-one recognises her, no-one has reported her missing and Richard returns, shaken, to his wife, but instead of finding solace in Lilian's company, he locks himself away and obsessively paints the scene of the woman's broken body on the rocks. His cool behaviour towards her takes Lilian to the flat below and the worldly-wise company of Sarah Fortune. But Sarah, once Richard's lover, is awkward with her and is also preoccupied with her brother's unbreakable habit of cat-burglary and the suspicious traffic to the penthouse at the top of the mansion block. Unable to forget what he witnessed, Richard returns to the coast and is befriended by the local police surgeon. Recently widowed, John is depressed, not so much by his wife's death but by the realisation that his marriage had been a loveless void. Recognising the symptoms, Richard introduces him to Sarah so that she can no longer ignore the Beaumonts' troubles and is drawn into helping to trace where the dead girl came from and in so doing reveals a trade which is both breathtakingly lucrative and chillingly cruel.

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Perfectly Pure And Good

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Trial By Fire

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When the naked body of a woman is found near the Essex commuter village of Branston the locals are as baffled as they are shocked. A crime of passion? Surely not here. But when Crown Prosecutor Helen West and Detective Superintendent Geoffrey Bailey scratch at the thin veneer of gentility they discover a hidden world of passion, envy and betrayal - primed and ready to explode . . .

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Without Consent

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Prosecutor Helen West views the whole subject with a jaundiced eye. In this case, she doesn't even like the officer accused, the volatile and compulsively unfaithful DS Ryan, friend of her lover, Superintendent Bailey. Ryan maintains a stubborn silence in the face of the charge but when the physical evidence against him proves to be unusually strong, West and Bailey assume his guilt. Until slowly, preoccupied as they are with their own loves and loyalties, a different suspect begins to emerge. A man who knows the law and how to avoid it. A man who believes that there is no such thing as rape when the victim welcomes him. And there is no legal formula to deal with someone who brings chocolates and flowers, leaves without a trace, corrupts the witness with her own shame and learns to kill with impunity . . .