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Magpie Lane

Magpie Lane

‘The word-of-mouth success of lockdown . . . riveting, twisty, page-turning stuffGuardian

‘An utter joy . . . wonderfully skilled’ Sarah Perry
‘Tender, creepy and gripping’ Sunday Times
‘Spellbinding and spooky . . . a dazzling high wire act, superbly absorbing’ Sunday Mirror
‘Enthralling . . . creepy and compelling’ The Times

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.

‘Deliciously dark’ Alexandra Shulman
A gorgeously satisfying triumph’ Lucy Mangan
‘A rare thing . . . simply stunning’ Daily Express
‘I was gripped . . . highly original’ Alex Clark
‘Excellent . . . hard to put down’
Daily Mail
‘Grown-up and cleverly written . . . a dizzying sense of uncertainty’ Literary Review
‘Keeps you guessing . . . a real sense of menace’ Good Housekeeping
‘Immensely satisfying’ Cara Hunter
‘Clever and creepy’ Erin Kelly
‘Wholly beguiling’ Mick Herron
‘Highly recommended’ Louise Candlish
‘Highly intelligent’ Sarah Vaughan
‘Sublime’ Jo Spain
‘Simply brilliant!’ JP Delaney


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Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Modern & Contemporary Fiction (post C 1945)

On Sale: 2nd April 2020

Price: £16.99

ISBN-13: 9781786485571

Reviews

'Dark, twisted, and gloriously rich, and I loved every word'
Amanda Jennings
'Full of hidden chambers, and some of them are haunted . . . part thriller, part love story, wholly beguiling. I was glued to every page'
Mick Herron
'Lucy Atkins excels at creating highly intelligent, slightly eccentric outsiders. I was completely immersed . . . and preoccupied, and appalled, by such credible characters. I loved it!'
Sarah Vaughan
'So clever and different. I raced through for the reveal but also the spookiness, the characters and the wonderful love story'
Sabine Durrant
'A brilliant feat - a creepy, chilling, page-turning tale that also made me laugh out loud. I can think of no other writer who pulls that off'
Kate Hamer
'Intricate, intelligent, and immensely satisfying, and with a deliciously spooky edge. It really is first-class Oxford intrigue'
Cara Hunter
'That rare thing: a thriller that warms your heart even as it chills your spine. I adored it on so many levels - the page-turning tension, the emotional depth of the central relationship. Simply brilliant!'
JP Delaney
'The most sublime book I've read since Apple Tree Yard . . . masterful writing from an experienced hand. I'll be gushing about this for a while'
Jo Spain
'The most deliciously unreliable narrator, dysfunctional relationships, spooky goings-on, and a missing child - all set against the rarefied world of Oxford academia. So clever and compelling'
Hannah Beckerman
Clever and creepy, twisty yet tender: Magpie Lane will have you hearing footsteps overhead in an empty house. I loved it
Erin Kelly
Beguiling, brilliantly creepy, and an utterly compelling read. Lucy Atkins has created such a complex character in Dee: I rooted for her, and yet was suspicious of her; swept along by her love story, but worried for her. A wonderful story
Claire Fuller
Spellbindingly brilliant. I was engrossed from start to finish, and fell in love with the wonderful cast. Lucy Atkins is an extraordinary writer, who draws us into her world and keeps us there; I shall be thinking about this story for a long time. A contender for my Book of the Year
Sarah Hilary
Magpie Lane is stunning, with an unforgettable narrative voice, brilliant evocation of the setting and a chilling, totally gripping story. It is everything I love in a novel and utterly compelling - you will not want to put it down
Jane Casey
Immersive, unsettling and hugely addictive. I loved all the Oxford detail. Superb
Will Dean
I fell hard for the beautiful writing and ghostly mood of Magpie Lane. Dee, a riveting Russian doll of a character, had me in her thrall from start to finish. Highly recommended
Louise Candlish
The investigation at the heart of Lucy Atkins's clever thriller is 'what makes a family unhappy?' The suspense builds inexorably until Magpie Lane has you by your throat
Susie Steiner
As nuanced a study of loneliness and longing as you could hope to meet in contemporary fiction
Sarah Franklin
I couldn't have loved this book more. Creepy, dark, compelling so clever. Every time you scratch off one layer to get to the truth, there is another one underneath. Lucy Atkins is a quiet genius
Tammy Cohen
Wow. I put my life on hold whilst I read this novel. An eerie and compelling story, beautifully crafted and darkly atmospheric with characters who infiltrate your every thought. I couldn't put it down and I'm buying it for everyone I know
Freya North
Tender, creepy and gripping
Sunday Times
With graceful writing, sharply observed characters including the city itself, and a withering look at the hidebound ways of dusty-gowned academia, this wonderfully atmospheric tale is, at its core, about the true meaning of family
Guardian
Deliciously enjoyable
Sunday Mirror
A sinewy, supple and gorgeously satisfying triumph
Lucy Mangan
It is a long time since I have enjoyed a book as thoroughly as I enjoyed Magpie Lane, which reminded me variously of Iris Murdoch, Ruth Rendell, Donna Tartt and Daphne du Maurier. I adored the narrator, and it was an utter joy to relish Atkins's wonderfully skilled and unobtrusive writing and lose myself in the mystery
Sarah Perry
Magpie Lane is deliciously dark and keeps flipping your certainties on their head from start to finish
Alexandra Shulman
It's taken many false starts to find a book to properly carry me away during this lockdown and this was it. Gripping as well as beautifully written. Thank you, Lucy Atkins, it was such a relief to be lost in your pages
Polly Samson
One of the most intriguing narrators since Notes on a Scandal - I loved it!
Sara Collins
The word-of-mouth success of lockdown, this riveting exploration of emotional damage is set against the dysfunctional world of Oxford academia . . . It is twisty, page-turning stuff, but Atkins also excels at characterisation: the deliciously horrid master and his new wife, the eccentric scholar writing a history of their creepy house, the closed-off nanny with her own secrets and the girl at the centre of it all.
Guardian