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The Playroom Paperback – 1 May 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (1 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751532517
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751532517
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 843,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Nobody could fail to admire this novel - a wholly believable horror story. Frances Fyfield's acute portrayal of a psychopath and his victims is frighteningly real.' Ruth Rendell 'Excellent.' Margaret Forster

Book Description

Previously published under her real name, Frances Hegarty, this is Frances Fyfield's tense drama of a family's psychological warfare carried to tragic extremes.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have always enjoyed Frances Fyfield's novels, some more than others, but her latest is in a league of its own. Not a conventional crime novel, certainly not a who-dun-it, this would be a very good resource for those working in the child protection field, especially for those with limited experience or knowledge of it, as it reveals layer by layer what lies beneath the "ordinary middle-class family" known to the neighbours. Not a book for those who like gory details and lots of excitement, this builds slowly, inexorably, to the dénouement. Well written, well constructed, it is certainly worth reading.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A great book. Very dark and sometimes quite scary and made me want to scream at the book sometimes (yes, I'm obviously crazy) but a book really worth reading. I felt the story did get a little lost now and again and went off at a 'tangent' but all in all very much worth a read.
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By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 16 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
Middle-class, working mothers, big houses, beautiful clothes, food, furniture - but oh what a difference from cosy old Joanna Trollope! Outwardly everything seems fine in the beautiful house of David and Katherine Allendale. They have two children, a lovely little boy, Jeremy, and it's so touching how close he is to his adored daddy, and podgy four-year old Jeanetta. It's true that Jeanetta is a handful - prone to screaming tantrums and devoid of the usual little girl charm, but this seems a small matter, soon to be solved by proper socialising and school.

Fyfield's way with character is to get inside their heads, and this she manages very well for her female characters and some of her male ones, but she doesn't try for the inside of David's head - there's no point, perhaps, since it is quickly clear that he is the villain of the piece. Nevertheless, I feel he is the one missing piece in the jigsaw of this novel. Without access to David we are left with a figure of evil, one dimensional, apart from his love for the child he favours. David is a sillhouette, while everyone else is a full length portrait.

This is a stunning crime novel - a chilling and all-too believable example of the principle that middle class lives, money and sensibilities are no bar to the obscenity of child cruelty, though not the kind of cruelty one might expect. The neighbours, David's mother, Katherine's sister all feel uneasy about some aspects of David, but no one comes up with the right answer, and David is so clever about deflecting all suspicions and passing on any blame - usually to his beleaguered wife.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Always a good read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A nail biting read, quite hard to deal with ... 18 Nov. 2014
By Pat - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A nail biting read, quite hard to deal with in that it filled me with anxiety as Frances Fyfield often does in her books. Very hard to put down, but a relief to finish in the end.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 18 Aug. 2014
By Ms Jessica Vivien - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
All Frances Fyfield's books are superlative
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