Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Review: Magpie Lane by Lucy Atkins

Title: Magpie Lane
Author: Lucy Atkins
Published: February 2021, Mobius
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Source: Publisher

When the eight-year-old daughter of an Oxford College Master vanishes in the middle of the night, police turn to the Scottish nanny, Dee, for answers. As Dee looks back over her time in the Master's Lodging - an eerie and ancient house - a picture of a high achieving but dysfunctional family emerges: Nick, the fiercely intelligent and powerful father; his beautiful Danish wife Mariah, pregnant with their child; and the lost little girl, Felicity, almost mute, seeing ghosts, grieving her dead mother.

But is Dee telling the whole story? Is her growing friendship with the eccentric house historian, Linklater, any cause for concern? And most of all, why was Felicity silent?

Roaming Oxford's secret passages and hidden graveyards, Magpie Lane explores the true meaning of family - and what it is to be denied one.

My thoughts: I first discovered Lucy Atkins when I was able to grab a copy of her last book, The Night Visitor at Book Expo a few years ago. I loved that book and have been waiting to see what this author would write next. As soon as I saw Magpie Lane was available, I requested it and I'm so glad I did...what an incredible book!

This book is a slow-burning, suspenseful mystery that captivated me from the start. I found myself immediately drawn in and loved how it was told, starting off at the police station in an interview room and then backtracking. The whole book is told this way and I found it to be quite brilliant. There is such a sense of unease and intrigue going on as to what happened to little Felicity and as you get to know the cast of characters that make up Felicity's world, you can't help but question everyone that comes into contact with her. 

I have to say that even though I did figure out halfway through what ultimately happened, I had no idea how and I found that it in no way distracted from my enjoyment. In fact, it made my reading even more critical because I had to know if I was in fact on the right path. 

This is a book where there are so many layers to it and there are many secrets that are slowly revealed as the investigation moves further along. It is a case where nothing and no one is as it seems and I found that there weren't too many characters that I really liked but I was still absolutely fascinated with everyone involved. 

As much as I wanted to race to the end to figure out all the secrets and see how it all wraps up, I also didn't want this to come to an end. It had just the right amount of suspense and at times creepiness to keep me fully engaged and I loved that there was always that sense of foreboding. I loved every bit of this book and would recommend it to anyone who wants a good psychological thriller to read...this is one that gets under your skin and doesn't let up!



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