(British, 1948– )
Solicitor Frances Fyfield writes a series of books featuring Crown Prosecutor Helen West and Detective Superintendent Geoffrey Bailey. The novels are skilfully plotted, the characters complex and believable, and the central relationship between West and Bailey, which needs constant negotiation, is powerfully drawn. Trial by Fire (1990) sees the pair moving to the country and living together for the first time. A naked woman's body is found buried in the woods, a man is arrested; the lover of West's only village friend. In Deep Sleep (1991) a pharmacist's wife has died suddenly and inexplicably in her sleep and an unexploded bomb has been found in the area. Writing as Frances Hegarty Fyfield's novels focus on family relationships where individuals are pushed to psychological extremes with tragic results. The Playroom (1991) depicts a couple trapped in a disintegrating marriage; Let's Dance (1995) has a mother and daughter locked in a relationship of simmering violence.
Joan Smith, Minette Walters CS