Title: Magpie Lane
Author: Lucy Atkins
Length: 368 pages
Synopsis: 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 Masters Lodging – an eerie and ancient house – a picture of a high achieving but dysfunctional family emerges: Nick, the fiercely intelligent and powerful father; his 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?
In Magpie Lane, we follow Dee as she is sitting in the police station, answer questions about a missing little girl that she had recently became a nanny for. Dee is fighting for her innocence.
Magpie Lane has got such an interesting premise and as soon as you start the book you can’t help but wonder does Dee know anything? You spend the whole book looking for clues.
It’s full of intrigue and mystery, which I loved, but it didn’t over power the whole novel. It ebbed and flowed perfectly. It had moments of real emotion and sadness . Seriously, you spend the whole trying to figure out if Dee was involved!! As the story goes on you find some things out about Dee, and it just adds to the mystery. I will say I believed she didn’t have anything to do with the disappearance, but I won’t spoil it for you. Let you see for yourself what happens when you read it.
This book didn’t rely on the mystery to keep it you interested. It had some fantastic characters too. Dee was brilliant, it’s alway so fun to read a book when we don’t know if the main protagonist is trustworthy, especially when it’s this well done. Felicity, the little girl, had so many layers to her with her mutism, her sadness. You desperately wanted to know what happened to her because you liked her. I just loved the characterisation. There’s more characters, which are also fantastic, but I’m trying not to give any spoilers away.
It was so atmospheric. It’s set in a centuries old house in Oxford and it’s the perfect setting. The house had so much history and so does the town of Oxford and Lucy really cleverly weaves them into the story. It added a whole another element to the book. It also had a bit of supernatural element to it, with Felicity seeing ghosts. It fit perfectly with the old house, the graveyards in Oxford. I’m not ashamed to admit I got a little creeped out at times.
Here’s the most pleasing thing about Magpie Lane, the ending didn’t disappoint. I couldn’t turn those pages fast enough. When I thought it ended I was a little bit like ‘oh is that it?’ But then I read that Epilogue. That’s it, I’m not saying anymore. I won’t ruin it for you.
I highly recommend this book. If you like mystery, supernatural books that have also got some heart, then this is definitely the book for you. You won’t be able to put it down.
Thank you to Quercus books for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out April 2nd (today).
Until the next review