Shadow Play: A Helen West Mystery

Shadow Play: A Helen West Mystery

4.5 2
by Frances Fyfield

This sophisticated, psychologically gripping tale about crimes of the most twisted passion is perfect for fans of Linda Fairstein and Patricia Highsmith.

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 judge for indecent assault, he is invariably acquitted

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This sophisticated, psychologically gripping tale about crimes of the most twisted passion is perfect for fans of Linda Fairstein and Patricia Highsmith.

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

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Mr. Logo, a whisky-guzzling, Bible-toting road sweeper, desperately combs London for his daughter Enid, missing for four years. To prosecuting attorney Helen West, Logo is a public menace who lures young girls into graveyards, where, she suspects--but can't prove--he fondles them. His neighbors, however, consider Logo a harmless eccentric, and readers of this suspenseful, sophisticated tale of sexual abuse and murder only gradually become aware that he is a woman-hating maniac. West's office buddy, 19-year-old Rose Darvey, who has bedded the whole police force, is actually Logo's missing daughter, using an assumed name; she ran away with her mother to escape his sexual abuse after stabbing him with a kitchen knife in self-defense. Now her mother is missing, possibly a victim of Logo. Sexual banter and police camaraderie give way to a deep exploration of the rage, shame and emotional scars inflicted by child abuse, as Edgar Award winner Fyfield ( A Question of Guilt ) entertains with fully realized characters, withering observations on human behavior and a feminist heroine who swings between a wariness of commitment and a yen to marry her lover, an argumentative cop. (May)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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Helen West Mysteries , #4
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Shadow Play: A Helen West Mystery 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
robbielea More than 1 year ago
Helen West and Rose Darvey share a fear of the dark. Before you finish Frances Fyfield’s thriller Shadow Play, you may share it with them. Helen West is at a turning point in her life whether she realizes it or not. Frustrated in her role as a lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service, she has failed yet again to convict Mr. Logo, a little man who carries a Bible and quotes scripture out of context, who sings hymns at inappropriate times and likes to lure little girls into grave yards. Yet somehow he manages to elude conviction. Her work is further complicated by the fact that files are mysteriously disappearing from the office making it impossible for the lawyers to present their cases. As if that isn’t enough, Helen is frustrated on a personal level with Geoffrey Bailey, a man whom she dearly loves. Their relationship has been reduced to a shopping and eating, “your place or mine” type of alliance which has grown stale. The subject of marriage is one about which they take turns being ambivalent. I think readers will find both Geoffrey and Helen very likeable as they muddle through the issues that at one time or another, beset us all. Geoffrey finds temptation while away at a conference and Helen becomes too friendly with an attractive male co-worker. In a strange twist, Helen finds herself befriending Rose Darvey, a brash young office clerk whom she envies for her youth and carefree approach to life. Helen and Rose bond after an unexpected encounter at a pregnancy clinic. When Rose becomes Helen’s assistant, confidences are exchanged and Helen eventually discovers Rose has a shocking connection to her bête noir Mr. Logo. It is this connection that forms the basis for the fascinating and complex story line. With Shadow Play, author Frances Fyfield offers a glimpse into the heart and mind of insanity. I’m awed by her ability to convey a pervasive sense of evil. It takes a rare form of artistry to grasp readers by the hand and lead them from safety to terror. I’ve never seen it portrayed more convincingly or chillingly. An old woman spies a suitcase at the top of a staircase in a horrible moment of clarity, a young woman sees a face pressed against a restaurant window and becomes faint, a little girl dares to look into her grandmother’s open grave and screams. This is a not a book where the villain isn’t unmasked until the end. Readers won’t have any problem figuring out who the good guys and bad guys are. The suspense is built on the slow and terrifying ways a little man who seems to be harmless reveals himself to be a monster. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys well-written suspense and things that go bump in the night! Oh…and by the way…you know those cute little images some people can put on a wall using their fingers and a lamp? I will never again view them quite the same! :-D
Margitte More than 1 year ago
The life of prosecutor, Helen West,  working for the Crown Prosecution Service , takes a turn from the mundane to the maddening when all the elements in her life turn upside down at the same time. What used to be mediocre becomes bizarre when nothing seems to be the same anymore. Everything seems to switch to overdrive: her long-standing relationship with Geoffrey is tested, files disappear from the computer as well as their offices; a regular accused, a Mr. Logo, becomes more than just a silly old man who cleans the streets; Rose Darvey, the office clerk, turns out to be much more than a potty-mouthed kid with an attitude;  people vanish from the face of the earth and  a steady stream of cases can suddenly not be solved. A ten-year-old building shudders and shakes under the weight of intellectual debate, relationship strains, droning engines of cars on the roof and furnaces with hot water pipes down in a dark and deserted basement. A wake-up call is heading in the occupants's direction while graveyards in the vicinity moan under the strain of corpses being buried undetected. A winter-dark and dreary London forms the backdrop for this high-voltaged psychological thriller which starts of with a bang and catapult the characters into situations they have never seen coming. What started out as uncomplicated, even unrelated incidences results in the actual life story of one character with nobody grasping the common thread until it is almost too late. The tale is complex and multi-layered;  the narrative easy-going; the plot hair-raising.  The writing was creative, descriptive, and exciting. What else can be more satisfying for a thriller - suspense -groupie than just that!? All the characters are realistic and believable.  What I enjoyed the most was the way in which an economy with words did not prevent a tale to be told in pristine detail. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!