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Shadow Play by Frances Fyfield

Shadow Play (original 1993; edition 1999)

by Frances Fyfield

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1505112,750 (3.38)14
Title:Shadow Play
Authors:Frances Fyfield
Info:Penguin Books (1999), Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:London, England, Crown Prosecution Service, lawyers, law offices, Helen West

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Shadow Play by Frances Fyfield (1993)



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Showing 4 of 4
I hadn't read anything by Frances Fyfield before but I was fairly impressed with her work so I'll be looking for more.

This is a psychological thriller more than a murder mystery although there are a few murders thrown in as well. Helen West is a Crown Prosecutor in London trying to do her best in a creaky judicial system. At the start of the book she has just lost a trial against Mr. Logo who has been charged a number of times with assaulting young girls but never gets convicted. Logo is a strange little man who picks up rubbish for the Council, always carries a Bible and sings hymns at the drop of a hat. We learn that his wife and daughter left him a number of years ago and it is his daughter that he is looking for when he is found with these young girls. His next door neighbour, Margaret, is about the only person who thinks kindly of Logo but she has to bar him from her place when she is babysitting and Logo doesn't appreciate this.

Helen West takes a young clerk, Rose Darvey, under her wing even though Rose is prickly (at the best of times). The remainder of the story centres around Rose and we gradually learn her story.

The ending is taut with excitement. I had to put everything aside while I finished up the book because I couldn't get anything done until I knew how it ended. ( )
  gypsysmom | Aug 9, 2017 |
One of the pleasures of the restrictions libraries face with ebooks is that occasionally I end up reading something from the backlist. Frances Fyfield writes weird, Dickensian (or Barbara Vine-ish) tales about a lawyer in London, her police detective lover, and various oddballs they encounter. The detective is mostly absent in this one, and the foreground taken by a punkish paralegal with a difficult past and a suspicion that somebody is deliberately losing files so that the Crown Proscecution Service will forfeit cases. Added to that, a demented and creeot bible-basher whose wife and child disappeared and whose efforts to find his child tend to end up in criminal court. Dense, moody, disturbing, and ultimately entertaining novel worth rediscovery.
  bfister | May 11, 2014 |
I read this book as an electronic advance reading copy (e-ARC) provided by Edelweiss. I have sent feedback to the publisher via that web site.

This book is subtle in the way it slowly builds up tension and drama, resulting in a surprising climax. Many mystery novels ask, "Whodunit?" When you read this book, you can figure out "who" fairly easily; it is the questions of "when" and "how" that will captivate the reader.

Note: This book was published originally in 1993. I am unsure why it is being reprinted now. It falls into my own subgenre category of "How would this story have changed if it were set in the present and the characters had cell phones?" (The climax relies on the characters being out of communication with people who could help them because they are relying on landlines.) ( )
  librarianarpita | Feb 12, 2014 |
Frances Fyfield has created one of the most enjoyable characters in the mystery field. Helen West is a Crown Prosecutor,something of a recluse yet approachable. In this fourth outing she is stymied by a slimy little man called Mr. Logo. Far from sane, he continually charms juries into freeing him from any criminal charge he is faced with. Unknowingly, Helen has the perfect weapon to stop him, her newly appointed assistant, Rose.
As Rose's past unfolds and eventually collides with Mr. Logo, Helen must also figure out who is removing drunk driving files and how she really feels about Geoffrey Bailey, friend and lover.
This is the first of the series I have read but definitelt not the last. Literate,fast-paced, and,enjoyable, any mystery fan will love this series. ( )
  elliezann | Nov 30, 2010 |
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For my sister, Susan Styan,

with love.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140286837, Paperback)

A brilliant suspense novel of the London courts from the "splendidly accomplished" Frances Fyfield (Chicago Tribune)

In Shadow Play, Frances Fyfield hones her powers of writerly suspense to give us a sophisticated, psychologically gripping tale about crimes of the most twisted passions.

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 magistrate for indecent assault, he is invariably acquitted due to lack of evidence. He is especially familiar to Helen West, the take-no- prisoners Crown Prosecutor who has just failed for the fifth time to prosecute 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 the office, Helen West unwittingly sets in motion events that will dangerously complicate her connection to Mr. Logo and push his rage and dark passion to lethal extremes.

"There are crime writers whom we think of primarily as novelists. . . . There is no one higher on this list than Frances Fyfield." --P. D. James

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:25 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

In the six years since her first novel, A Question of Guilt, was nominated for the Edgar Award, Frances Fyfield has proved herself a master of the crime novel again and again with such books as Shadows on the Mirror, Not That Kind of Place, and The Play Room. On both sides of the Atlantic she has been consistently singled out by reviewers for the style and intelligence of her novels, the complexity of her characters, and the taut suspense of her plots. Now, with Shadow. Play, Fyfield gives us her best novel yet: a sophisticated, chilling, psychologically gripping tale about crimes of the most twisted passions. The odd, vaguely menacing little man called Mr. Logo is a familiar figure in the old court building in London. Frequently brought before the magistrate for indecent assault, he is invariably acquitted; he may scare the dark-haired, dark-eyed little girls he follows, but nobody can prove that he actually touches them. So he is. allowed to return to his everyday life - a life fueled solely by his blinding obsession with the daughter who ran away from him four years before: "It was all her fault. Everything. She had been his nemesis from the start, the black-eyed angel he had loved so much. Find her... and bring her home before the cancer of her loss affected all the extremities of his life and limbs. Love or revenge: either would do." Mr. Logo is especially familiar to Helen West, the Crown. Prosecutor who has just failed for the fifth time to make good her prosecution of him. He is off-limits to her now until his next, certain, appearance in court. Yet when she strikes up an unlikely friendship with Rose, the young, compulsively secretive, and promiscuous clerk in her office, Helen West unwittingly sets in motion events that will not only dangerously complicate and personalize her connection to Mr. Logo, but also push his rage and dark passion toward. uncontrollable and even lethal extremes...… (more)

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