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The Nature Of The Beast

3.29  ·  Rating Details  ·  107 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Different people react to disasters in different ways. But why would Amy Petty want the world to presume her dead?
Fate is not alone in deciding who lives and who dies after the crash of a train travelling from Kent to London. One passenger uses the opportunity to commit a murder. Another — the blonde and beautiful Amy Petty — uses the accident as an opportunity to leave he
Published (first published 2001)
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(showing 1-30 of 200)
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Kathleen Hagen
The Nature of the Beast, by Frances Fyfield, B-plus. Narrated by Rula Lenska, produced by Chivers Audio, now owned by BBC-WW audio, downloaded from

This is a book full of very strange characters. Douglas Petty hires two solicitors to help him unravel a particularly vicious plot of character assassination and to file a libel suit. But this case is soon dwarfed by another incident, a catalyst that changed everything. Amy Petty, wife of Douglas, had had a particularly hard childhood, an
Cathy Austin
Aug 10, 2015 Cathy Austin rated it it was amazing
Fyfield is a masterful writer of psychological crime thrillers, ones that will really keep you reading and oblivious to almost anything going on around you...Having just finished the Girl on the Train recently, this book also starts off on a London train, a crash in which main character Amy Petty walks away unscathed but instead of going back to her husband, she walks away, actually, without handbag, without anything into the streets of London.Presumed Dead is her choice for a number of reasons ...more
Jan 15, 2013 Durdles rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime
I actually forgot that I'd read this and have difficulty remembering the ending. However it involved a former barrister who had been struck off for running naked through the Royal Courts of Justice and then opening a home for abandoned dogs before being accused of canine sodomy. Also his former model wife takes the opportunity of being involved in a massive train smash to sensibly fake her own death and go and live with her father - a wrongly accused paedophile who builds anarchic dolls houses. ...more
Susan Cabaniss
Jan 06, 2016 Susan Cabaniss rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Wasn't sure what to think of this book when I started, but found myself enjoying the ride. Not what I thought it would be, and the better for it!
Twin Opinions
This is one of those books that is not good and not bad, its interesting though. A mystery with a little action and a good plot. All Fyfields books are well written, she is an amazing author but this book is kinda strange.

The characters are odd and the way she described the Petty house, well let's just say I could have done without that visual. Overall I would say its an OK read, but not great. I didn't find myself lost or unable to put it down and it just was not that memorable. But I wouldn't
Mar 29, 2016 Laura rated it did not like it
Not for me - I couldn't get into it.
Luce Cronin
Mar 19, 2016 Luce Cronin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a surprise! I thought this would be just another detective novel, but it proved to be written by an author with deep insight into the human psyche. An engrossing read.
Lizzie Dewey
Nov 19, 2014 Lizzie Dewey rated it it was ok
It passed some sleepless hours, but not a patch on a good old Ruth Rendell :)
Feb 04, 2014 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
A most unusual novel. I struggled for awhile to get into it but eventually it drew me in.
Jan 03, 2016 Sandra rated it it was amazing
Maybe a 4.75; as I've said before 'amazing' not a word I'd use in this context, but for something so thoroughly entertaining, such high quality writing and such marvellous characters as this book has, it would be churlish to award it less.

I have found some of Frances Fyfield's book a little staid or disappointing. Others have sparkled, and this is definitely one of the latter.
The Cats Mother
Well written mystery set in London about a woman involved in a train crash, who takes the opportunity to escape from a brutish husband, told from the point of view of one of the lawyers dealing with his libel case. The characters are complicated, and while not an exciting story as such, the intrigue is in finding out why and how it will turn out.
Finding heavy going on this one... characters strange and disagreable. I hear the story is intriguing, but do I care?

I decided I didn't. Regretable -- I had heard good things about this author and now will probably not try her again.

Two stars for competent writing.
Karen C
Jan 20, 2014 Karen C rated it it was ok
I enjoy Frances Fyfield's writing but was upset that she chose to write about animal abuse/bestiality. It wasn't overly explicit but had I known this was the topic I would not have purchased the book (on my Kindle).
Mar 01, 2013 Tiina rated it really liked it
This was a re-read. I can do that because I rarely remember specifics about any book.

The story unfolded little by little, holding my interest very well. A satisfying read.
Nov 06, 2012 Christine rated it liked it
Not so much of a murder mystery, but a character mystery. I loved the way Amy saw everyone as an animal...
Aug 10, 2013 Patricia rated it liked it
Worth a read. Fyfield's characters aren't the usual stereotypes and this plot was most unusual.
Aug 07, 2011 Jackie rated it it was ok
Didn't like this book.
Jul 09, 2012 Claire rated it liked it
Fairly good
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Aka Frances Hegarty.

Frances Fyfield is a criminal lawyer, who lives in London and in Deal, by the sea which is her passion. She has won several awards, including the CWA Silver Dagger.
More about Frances Fyfield...

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