Magpie

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 12 Dec 2019

Member Reviews

Complex mystery which has lots of twists and kept me guessing to the end. Very complicated characters.
Was this review helpful?
I’ve not read this author first book but I have read good reviews about it. So I was looking forward to reading this book hoping it would be a good read but unfortunately it was disappointing as it took so long to getting into the story and the back and forth came over very weak with these characters. I did not really like any of them.
Was this review helpful?
I’m really sorry, but this book just wasn’t for me. I found it very hard to get into and almost gave up on it several times. I’m not sure it was worth persevering with, though!
I don’t usually mind backwards and forwards chapters in a book, as long as they are well done and don’t over complicate and hamper the reader’s enjoyment of the book. However, I found myself having to reread sections and even having to go back to the beginning of a chapter to see which section I was in as it wasn’t always clear. They are set before and after an event that we are not privy to, and they are narrated by two different characters, Claire and Duncan. This just adds to the confusion. 
There is an abundance of description of the Derby countryside, and I found myself getting very bored. There are also very random dream sequences. It is not until the person wakes up that you realise what you have just read was a dream. However, this does explain why you didn’t have a clue what was going on.
I’m sure a lot of people will have a lot more patience for this than I had and are probably more imaginative to be able to follow what was going on. I must just not have been in the right frame of mind to really understand and follow the story. I read a lot of psychological thrillers, but this didn’t grip me and fell short compared to a lot I have read this year.
This was a very disjointed book and not at all easy to read. I was signed up to be part of the blog tour, but for the first time ever I have had to back out as I can’t in good conscience promote a book that I didn’t enjoy.
Was this review helpful?
This book was fast paced. Hard to put down. It flowed well and it was very well written. It caught hold of me and had me hooked from the start . I was literally on the edge of my seat reading this book.
Was this review helpful?
This book is mostly a psychological suspense. This is not a missing persons story at all. This is a story about the a nastiness of the human psyche, the unraveling of the human mind, and where all the angst and anger can lead an entire family to lose what is most precious in all the world! 

The story centers around Claire, her husband Duncan, and her son Joe. Claire is the lead character and we follow her down the rabbit hole of her mind varying from her present (after) to what led up to her present (before). The chapters are often sprinkled with befores and afters from Duncan’s point of view, allowing you glimpses into how everything has ended up the way it has. There are always two sides to every story and the author does a great job tackling some heavy issues and underhanded thinking from both characters. 
Joe is definitely a hands on child, needing more time and love to blossom and even still lives on the outskirts of society. This is one of many factors that leads into a huge rift between Claire and Duncan. Duncan’s infidelity is another score down Claire’s back. Being unable to talk about either issue leaves Claire feeling extremely isolated, something many new mothers feel and I applaud the author for putting it out there so eloquently. Because she pulls into herself Duncan in turn feels isolated and tries to feel wanted again by someone else instead of his own family. The wound just keeps festering in both their minds until they are purposely acting out to hurt each other and poor joe has a front row seat to the show. 
In all the befores and afters of the book the main thread ends up being that joe has gone missing...again. He’s done this before and has always come home but this time he hasn’t come home and no one seems to care. Claire becomes more frantic and more depressed as weeks pass and there’s no help in sight. 
Many times throughout the story there are hints that, if the reader is paying close attention and unraveling the constant back and forth between past and present and several characters, lead you to understand how the ghosts of the past can affect every bit of your life. . 
Unfortunately it’s a very slow build, and the befores and afters come so often you really have to pay close attention. It’s not an easy read and it’s not one you can rush through and just absorb and enjoy. I had to take many breaks and come back later to pick it up so I could think through it and analyze. The book took me over a week to read when typically I can finish a book in two days. I also feel there was a lot of detail that really wasn’t necessary to the story to be repeated several times, like the old church at the bottom of the reservoir, maybe it was just filler.
Was this review helpful?
Sophie Draper is an author to follow. A great writing style draws you into her novels and what would be too slow a thriller in another writers hands blooms in Magpie.  The ending of a marriage is always difficult even when one party knows it has to happen. This is a family in turmoil with a seemingly heartless and destructive  husband,  a now missing son, and a woman, Claire,  on the run to and from the truth of their lives together.  Told in the before and after style, the story at first  is full of anecdotes before zeroing in on the three and leads to a great twisty finale.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this! Really well written and I didn’t see the twist coming. Definitely recommend this book and would buy for others.
Was this review helpful?
this author is a wonderful  writer this one I think is more creepy and chilling to her others Claire has fallen out of love with Duncan who is always having affairs Claire loves her son very much joe .everything is not what it seems very twisting and very emotional I cried I so recommend this book
Was this review helpful?
The book did not exceed my expectations. Too much focus on the scenery and the plot line did not feel consistent. Successfully creepy setting but otherwise not a book I would read again.
Was this review helpful?
Wow! This book was so good. Really enjoyed it. Will be trying this author again. Will recommend to others 5***
Was this review helpful?
If I'm honest this book had me confused, the dual narrative going backward and forward in time, before and after an event we aren't yet aware of, wasnt as smooth as I had hoped. It made me not have any empathy with the characters which I found unusual. 

The plot as a whole was good. I did however, work out the twist quite early- maybe thats because all I read is this genre though! I did like the whole idea of the twist and could tell why Draper had the events she did leading up to it.

As much as there were some negatives and positives, I did enjoy reading Magpie.

Thank you to the publishers and Netgalley for the ARC in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I found this book a little strange. I could not get into it easily. I kept re reading sections. I don't know if it was the book or just me not connecting with it. I did appreciate the writer's style and work.
Was this review helpful?
The book was slow to start with and keeps shifting in POV and in time. After 1/3rd of the way it picks up speed and the final twist was unexpected. The events in the after section of the wife are unclear. Maybe I should read it a second time.
Was this review helpful?
This story is about a family breaking down and the son Joe going missing. The book flicks back and forth between the before and after Joe going missing and is more of a suspense novel with a slow build up. 
I loved the twist at the ending and didn't suspect it to be what it was, nor did I suspect Evangeline to be who she was either. 
This book was very slow going but I'm so glad I stuck with it as the ending was worth it.
Was this review helpful?
Claire and Duncan’s marriage has become toxic and she plans to leave him and move out of their lovely home with their troubled teenage son Joe.
Chapters moved randomly between Claire and Duncan’s voices, and before and after the split. I liked this, it enhances the feeling of Claire’s confusion and fears and tantalises the readers as the backstory gradually falls into place.
But the narrative is too slow. The rural Derbyshire setting is thoroughly described. But the repetition is distracting and the atmosphere loses its effect.
The first third or so of the book promised much and while the folk tales of the sunken village are important and relevant, the loss of some of the sequences would not have been missed.
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed this book, there was a lot going on and I felt like the author did a great job of keeping you in the moment. Very unique story
Was this review helpful?
Thanks net galley for sending me an early edition of this dark and broody book.
Duncan and Claire have a very cold marriage , they have one son who they find difficult but Duncan finds it hard to love him.
Claire decides its time to leave Duncan, as he yet again is having another affair this time to Duncan’s best friends daughter.
Then joe disappears and it’s left up to Claire to find him.
She then begins to find things that have long been forgotten in their local woods and reservoir.
I enjoyed this book and will look out for more books by this talented author.
Was this review helpful?
Clare, Duncan and Joe coexist uneasily as the long marriage of the former two unravels acrimoniously. Joe disappears further into his own world of metal detecting, which becomes a burden and alarming, rather than a hobby.
At times I found this quite pedestrian, as I’m not a fan of novels about affairs and domestic arguments. I certainly didn’t warm to Duncan.....until he showed his fierce and passionate hatred of cruelty to animals and the lengths he went to as a vet to save them.
I would have given it 3 stars and seen it as a satisfactory, if rather gloomy story of a marriage buckling under past secrets and current regrets. But then came the twist and what a twist it is, making some of the meandering passages and unlikely actions/ situations of the characters much clearer and much more heartbreaking.
I shall look for Cuckoo by the same author now as I greatly enjoyed her style of writing. I also enjoyed learning about ‘puppetrider’ coins!
Was this review helpful?
I knew I might not be the target audience for this book but wanted to give it a go anyway. I may try again in future but for now it’s a DNF. This is not a reflection on the book. Check out other reviews than mine for more informed opinions.
Was this review helpful?
Magpie is a very atmospheric ,compelling story .Clair and Duncan and their teenage son Joe live in a fabulous converted barn overlooking a reservoir.It sounds idyllic but Clair hates the house and is only waiting until Joe is 18 before she leaves Duncan who is unfaithful and uncaring towards her .He is a Vet and seems more interested in animals than humans .The description of the village and the surrounding countryside was excellent I really felt I was there with Claire when she was exploring .The story is told in before and after format which only at the end did I realise the significance of this .Joe goes missing just as Claire has decided to secretly leave Duncan and take Joe with her .,she is frantic the Police aren't interested as he is 18 now and has disappeared before .The story twists and turns going backward and forward in time until the ending which is the biggest surprise of all .I loved it . Many thanks to the Publisher the Author and NetGalley for my review copy in return for an honest review .
Was this review helpful?