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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(178mm x 107mm x 22mm)
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
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UK Kirkus Review »
Frances Fyfield is one of the best British crime writers around, and the accumulated suspense of her books is hard to resist. Her novels featuring Crown Prosecutor Helen West and DCS Geoffrey Bailey have built up a steady following, but Seeking Sanctuary is something new; Fyfield takes her customary delving into the darker aspects of the human psyche to a new level of intensity. At the reading of the will of Theodore Calvert, it becomes apparent that this strangely worded document has been calculated to perpetrate revenge on the dead man's former wife, whose pietistic homilies destroyed the marriage. The beneficiaries of Calvert's will are his daughters Therese and Anna (his fastidiously religious wife Isabelle has died), and Therese has followed her mother's unceasing injunctions to piety by becoming a nun. When an enigmatic young boy named Francis appears, he quickly makes himself invaluable at Therese's convent. But soon the lives of Anna and Therese are to be changed irrevocably by the handsome Francis, who is not everything he appears to be; violent emotions may only be suppressed, Fyfield warns, for a limited time. The relationship between the three central characters is compellingly created, and the rigorous constraints of religion add a further level of repression that mirrors the secrets at the heart of this idiosyncratic narrative. Vividly written and exuberantly entertaining, this is one of Fyfield's best books. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Frances Fyfield
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.