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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars conspiracy by the sea
In an English seaside town an old, rich man has died, leaving everything to his very young wife. Naturally, his estranged family members are not willing to accept this.
I think the house is the main character in this book: housing a comprehensive art collection, it is large, rambling, deceptive and full of secrets and surprises - much like the cast of flawed...
Published 21 months ago by maggiefb

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it, but...
If you're looking for a fast-paced, gritty crime novel, this is not for you; in fact, it's barely a crime novel at all. I can't even describe it as a psychological thriller. It's more like magical realism, where each character represents some aspect of a fable or fairy tale, behaves according to stereotype, and is to be either liked or loathed. It does not take place in...
Published 20 months ago by LizzieN4


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars conspiracy by the sea, 5 Dec 2012
By 
maggiefb (Famagusta, Cyprus) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gold Digger (Kindle Edition)
In an English seaside town an old, rich man has died, leaving everything to his very young wife. Naturally, his estranged family members are not willing to accept this.
I think the house is the main character in this book: housing a comprehensive art collection, it is large, rambling, deceptive and full of secrets and surprises - much like the cast of flawed individuals who inhabit it.
As the secrets are revealed and the characters develop, an interesting story emerges and the consequences of greed, envy and dishonesty are revealed.

I have read most of Frances Fyfield's thrillers and enjoyed them, as I did this one. I just wish she would check out the correct meaning of 'jailbait' though - it doesn't mean any female who has been in prison!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it, but..., 16 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Gold Digger (Paperback)
If you're looking for a fast-paced, gritty crime novel, this is not for you; in fact, it's barely a crime novel at all. I can't even describe it as a psychological thriller. It's more like magical realism, where each character represents some aspect of a fable or fairy tale, behaves according to stereotype, and is to be either liked or loathed. It does not take place in the real world, but in a strange fantasy land -- not sure where, but I'd surmise on the North Essex/Suffolk coast, in a small seaside town (so behind the times that the hairdresser is apparently using products and techniques left over from the early 1960s)... yet trains apparently go into St Pancras, which is strange, as I didn't think it served any coastal areas; Liverpool Street, surely?

(One gripe, which I often have about novels in which violence occurs -- people who have been hit on the head with heavy objects, and knocked out, tend to suffer permanent brain damage, and at the very least need in-patient medical attention; they do not just dab a bit if witch hazel on it and carry on.)

In summary: yes, I enjoyed reading this for what it was; but what it was supposed to be is rather beyond me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gold Digger. F. Fyfield., 16 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Gold Digger (Paperback)
Splendid story; excellently told.
Spoilt only by overuse of the f-word and the c-word. As a female author with legal training and of a certain age, this added little to plot or character development.. A more judicious use of both in future M/S F.!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine thriller with a quirky cast of characters, 24 Dec 2012
By 
A Common Reader "Committed to reading" (Sussex, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Gold Digger (Paperback)
I've been reading Frances Fyfield's books for years now and I believe she's up there with Ruth Rendell and P D James as the trio of top British crime writers. In Gold Digger we return to the world of her earlier novel Undercurrents, surely based on where she lives in Deal, a small town on the Kent Coast.

Fyfield takes a great deal of care in developing her characters. Thomas Porteous, an elderly art collector, takes a shine to Di Quigley, a girl from a troubled family who tried to burgle him when she was 17. Thomas sent her art books while she was in prison and when she came out, they got together and despite a huge age difference they develped a deep affinity leading to an unlikely marriage. The people in the town suspect that Di is just a gold-digger, but there is far more to her than that and her devotion to Thomas is based on how he has taught her to develop her love for fine art.

Fyfield describes Thomas and Di's eccentric life together in the rambling old house which Thomas inherited years ago, stuffed full of paintings old and new. The devoted couple share a love for paintings and delight in rescuing even obscure works which the world seems to have passed by. But Thomas is now very old and has two grasping daughters who see Di as a threat to the inheritance on which they have been banking for years. When Thomas dies, the two daughters turn out to be a venomous pair who together with one of their husbands form an unholy trinity, determined to play as dirty as they can to retrieve what they have lost in their father's will.

The pleasure in this book lies in the atmosphere Fyfield creates in this small coastal town. It is almost a world of its own, a bubble of eccentricity, which the two daughters seem determine to prick in order to get their way. But Di also has her sinister side and the reader rapidly discovers that there is going to be a titanic battle of wills with no holds barred in the conduct of the engagement.

There are many twists and turns along the way and I only put this book down when I had to, returning to it with a sense of keen anticipation to see what happened next. As with all good books, the characters live on in the mind after you've finished it. I really enjoyed it and have no hesitation in awarding it five stars.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than gold, 24 Mar 2013
By 
Mrs. Anne Shimwell (Bakewell, Derbyshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gold Digger (Paperback)
I have loved Frances Fyfield's books for many years, and her earlier book, "The Playroom" is, in my opinion, superb and should be required reading for anyone working in the social services or child protection fields. "Gold Digger" has the hallmarks of this fine writer: suspense, good believably flawed characters, an understanding of the circumsances which affect a person's actions, and an interesting story. Compassion is one of her trademarks and here it is shown in spades! She is far better thansome lother, more vaunted, writers.
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3.0 out of 5 stars "We get the claustrophobic little b*tch sent straight back to prison...", 26 Jun 2014
By 
Eileen Shaw "Kokoschka's_cat" (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gold Digger (Paperback)
Everything rests in this book on whether the reader can accept that Thomas Porteous is a man brave and foolish enough to fall in love with a thief, a woman, who has broken into his house and as she is serving time for the burglary he sends her books about art, educates her and on her release, marries her. She is seen in the area as a gold digger but their love is palpable, deep and abiding and the book begins with his death.

Now the onslaught of his family begins as they are outraged at being left out of his Will, and what a crew of monsters they are. In fact, the extremes of their rapacious personalities gave me pause. One has to have villains in a Frances Fyfield book, of course, and they can’t be less than extraordinary or dramatically interesting, but this crew of villains have very little in the way of common humanity and scenes of oppression, particularly those involving Thomas’s grandson Patrick, were often over the top. Greed is the abiding motive, and there are a few ambiguous characters that suggest ambivalent motives. But I couldn’t quite believe in some of FF’s characterisations. Anyone can be driven by greed, but this lot were well over the top. Unfortunately, that spoilt this book for me. Fyfield is capable of much more subtle and realistic work. Indeed, she is known for the subtlety of her plot work and characters. In this case, the book lost me and it just did not work for me.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It was ok, 19 Nov 2013
This review is from: Gold Digger (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed the prospect of what this book promised: dark old house, remote location by the sea, a mystery.

I can only say it didn't adequately portray much of the above for me. I didn't see the point to some of the characters and although parts appeared clever they were confusing plot devices that didn't make any sense. All the palaver about certain "incidents" amounted to nothing, while important incidents weren't explained at all. In particular one scene at the beginning was never revisited.

As one other reviewer has noted it was neither psychological thriller nor crime novel. The author seemed to be attempting to introduce a surreal set piece into an otherwise pedestrian tale of family squabbling. The 3 stars are primarily for the author's ability to write. The "story" however left a lot to be desired.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, 5 April 2013
By 
M. E. Urban "mysteryfan" (Cornwall,England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gold Digger (Paperback)
I bought "Gold Digger" on the strength of Fyfield's previous books and was not disappointed in her style and characterization. The only criticism I have is that there is a lack of depth in a few of the characters. The plot itself is interesting and well developed with the use of art works to tell the story and give insight into the relationships of the main characters. In the main, an enjoyable read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars gold digger, 28 Dec 2012
By 
Ray "Ray" (Worcestershire UK) - See all my reviews
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Engaging heroine, I wanted to read to the end, not the very most page turney story I have ever read
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 17 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Gold Digger (Kindle Edition)
I gave it 4 stars because it took a little while to get into, then couldn't put it down. Lots of twists and turns. A great read.
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Gold Digger
Gold Digger by Frances Fyfield (Paperback - 28 Nov 2013)
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