Last year, I had the pleasure to read Magpie Lane by Lucy Atkins, a gripping thriller set in Oxford and I was completely captivated so I am delighted to repost again my review to celebrate the publication in paperback of this gripping novel.
Publication: 2nd April 2020 – Quercus
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 is 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.
I have been having a bit of a hard time concentrating on reading lately (and I’ve seen I am not the only one), but Magpie Lane kept me completely captivated. Such an excellent read! Multi-layered characters, a creepy atmosphere, a house seemingly haunted by ghosts, and a gripping plot. I couldn’t put it down!
It all started when Dee met new College Master Nick Law and got offered a job as a nanny for his daughter Felicity. Eight months later, Felicity is missing and Dee and Nick and his wife are turning on each other. What happened? As Dee is interviewed by the police we discover a disturbing story of loss, dysfunctional family, and secrets.
The story is very well-written and you can feel the tension as you turn page after page. The author’s choice of the setting is fantastic. Master House is claustrophobic and with an interesting and dark history, almost a character itself, that gave me goose-bumps all over my body. The author’s beautiful descriptions and the fascinating and intriguing historical facts narrated through the character of Linklater really bring Oxford to life and kept me glued to the pages.
The author put together a cast of brilliant and complex characters: there is Dee, the Scottish nanny with an obsession for mathematics and a mysterious past; Nick, an ambitious professor who cares more about his job than his own daughter; his Danish pregnant wife Mariah, who restores wallpaper; his daughter Felicity, a eight-year-old girl with selective mutism; and House Detective Linklater with a deep knowledge of Oxford.
Magpie Lane is intense, dramatic, and addictive. I couldn’t wait to see how it ended and, yet, I didn’t want it to end. I adored it and I couldn’t recommend it enough!!!
A huge thank you to Ella and Quercus for providing me with a proof of this brilliant novel.