She has almost everything. The rest, she’ll take.
~ Elizabeth Day, Magpie
She has almost everything. The rest she’ll take.
Marisa may have only known Jake a few months, but she has never felt this certain about anyone. When he asks her to move in with him and they start trying for a baby, she knows she has finally found the steadfast love and support she has been looking for all her life.
But their relationship is tested when they take in a lodger, Kate, who has little regard for personal boundaries and seems to take an uncomfortable interest in Jake – as well as the baby they are hoping to have.
I chose this book because of the synopsis. I later discovered that the author was the same Elizabeth Day who wrote Failosophy – a book I really enjoyed. I had no idea that she wrote fiction as well, but was pleasantly surprised with Magpie.
It started well, with a happy (albeit fast-moving) relationship between Marisa and Jake. I’m immediately suspicious about short-term relationships where one partner is pushing the other to move in together and have a baby. It seems quite common in thrillers, so my radar went up quickly and, sure enough, things started to take an unpleasant turn.
However, the twist isn’t what you expect! Once Kate moved in I started to figure it out and had guessed just before it was revealed. However, I liked that you found out halfway through and then see the other perspective of the story. This made it much more engaging; I hate books where the author builds the story unnecessarily and the twist is rushed and disappointing. Thankfully, Magpie was not a traditional thriller.
What did surprise me was the way it plays out and tricks you into thinking you’ve figured it all out. There are so many twists after the ‘big reveal’ that it’s never clear how it’s going to end. I was still a little bit disappointed with the ending, but the rest of the book is so well-paced and well-written that it’s still an excellent story.
Not one character in this book is likeable… Marisa is shallow and comes across as very spoilt; Jake seems understanding, but at times crosses a line. Even though I felt most sympathy for Kate and her backstory, she still wasn’t a nice person. Other characters provide good depth to the story, and each of them has their reasons for acting the way they do, but I struggled to forgive them.
I love reading books set in places I’ve lived, but so many authors write about London and make multiple errors about the city. It made a nice change to read a book about London by someone who has actually been there!
Overall, this was a gripping and surprising thriller, that tugs on the heartstrings in very unexpected ways!
I received an eBook version of Magpie from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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