Frances Fyfield (born 1948) is the pseudonym of Frances Hegarty. Fyfield is a British lawyer and crime-writer.
Born and brought up in Derbyshire, Frances Hegarty read English at Newcastle University. After graduation, she took a course in criminal law. She worked initially for the Metropolitan Police and later the Crown Prosecution Service. She claims "After a long diet of criminal law, including dangerous dogs, rape, mayhem and much, much murder, the indigestion of pity and fury provoked me to write. I wanted to write romance, but the domestically macabre always got in the way." Fyfield has won several awards, including the Crime Writers' Association Duncan Lawrie Dagger for Blood From Stone in 2008 and the Silver Dagger for Deep Sleep. In addition the novel Safer than Houses was nominated for the Duncan Lawrie Dagger in 2006.
She also writes psychological thrillers under the name of Frances Hegarty, among them, The Playroom, Half Light and Let's Dance, which was published in 1995.
Her novels have been translated in fourteen different languages, and a number have been adapted for television. The most popular of Fyfield's novels, the Helen West series, have twice been adapted for television. Juliet Stevenson played Helen West in Trial by Fire (1999) and Amanda Burton later took on the role in a successful British television series in 2002.
It has been written that "The defining feature of Fyfield's novels is their astonishing generosity of spirit, which may seem somewhat incongruous given her subject matter: insanity, incest, violence (often murder), emptiness, suicide -- all at the darkest extreme of human experience. Yet each of her characters is accorded a distinctive voice, that humanizes even the most unregenerate of them (Charles Tysall in Shadows on the Mirror and Perfectly Pure and Good being a partial exception)".