Frances Fyfield - A Clear Conscience - Little, Brown Book Group

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A Clear Conscience

By Frances Fyfield

  • E-Book
  • £P.O.R.

A haunting tale of psychological suspense from the CWA Gold Dagger award-winner. Part of Frances Fyfield's stunning newly released digital backlist.

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.

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: 9781405521147
  • Publication date: 04 Oct 2012
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Sphere
Her knowledge of the workings of the human mind - or more correctly the soul - is second to none — Ian Rankin
Undiluted brilliance — The Times
Fyfield's writing is always elegant and precise, her characters are finely drawn — Sunday Telegraph
Fyfield at her best is compelling, disturbing, but always elegant — Minette Walters
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Seeking Sanctuary

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Cold To The Touch

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Half Light

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The Girl in the Fog

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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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Shadows on the Mirror

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Undercurrents

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Henry didn't turn back when Francesca needed him twenty years before. Now, on some sort of journey to anchor his soul, he arrives in her home town of Warbling and discovers that she's even further beyond his reach - serving a life sentence for the murder of her child.Still intrigued by her, and entranced by his memories, he becomes drawn into the town and the people who knew her far better than he - her cousin, her lawyer, her closest friend, Angela, whose adopted daughter Francesca had helped her acquire. He finds himself a lodger in the House of Enchantment, an eccentric boarding house run by two gay men who believe the comfort of their guests is above profit. And he finds himself incapable of believing that Francesca is a killer, even if she did confess her crime in chillingly logical detail. But if it wasn't her, then who?Peopled with richly quirky and original characters, this is a novel of suspense in which the truth is better left unknown.

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The Playroom

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The Art Of Drowning

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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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Shadow Play

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Safer Than Houses

Frances Fyfield
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Sarah Fortune inherited her flat from one of her many lovers. Now a son has appeared claiming it is his, morally if not strictly legally, and he is using illegal means to persuade Sarah to give it up: abusive letters threatening her personal harm. As it becomes more difficult to ignore these missives, Sarah comes across Henry, a timid, lonely man whose upstairs neighbour is using every trick in the racketeer landlord's book to make him leave his home: litter in the shared hallway, continual noise, poison set out for his cat. It seems that if they swap accommodation for a while they may be able to deal with each other's problems. But these two strangers have unknown connections in common: a well-meaning widow, a struggling therapist, and a man who sets fire to other people's property for a living . . .

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Blood From Stone

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Let's Dance

Frances Fyfield
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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

Frances Fyfield
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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.

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Trial By Fire

Frances Fyfield
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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

Frances Fyfield
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