She’s married to him. But does she know him at all?
Claire lives with her family in a beautiful house overlooking the water. But she feels as if she’s married to a stranger – one who is leading a double life. As soon as she can get their son Joe away from him, she’s determined to leave Duncan.
But finding out the truth about Duncan’s secret life leads to consequences Claire never planned for. Now Joe is missing, and she’s struggling to piece together the events of the night that tore them all apart.
Alone in an isolated cottage, hiding from Duncan, Claire tries to unravel the lies they’ve told each other, and themselves. Something happened to her family … But can she face the truth?
Having read and really enjoyed Cuckoo, I was excited to read Sophie Draper’s newest release, Magpie.
The book features the same great writing style and interesting characters, but I felt a bit let down by the plot, which I found confusing and a bit unengaging. It jumps around in time a lot, which is a style I usually really enjoy, but in this instance it was a bit confusing – despite the chapters having the name of the person speaking and ‘before’ or ‘after’ at the start, sometimes the way it moved between timeframes had me needing to keep going back to the start of the chapter or to other parts in the book to work out exactly when this scene occurred chronologically.
There’s a definite sense of suspense within its pages, and it’s definitely less action and more of a slow burner.
I really liked the way the reader slowly finds out more and more about Claire and Duncan’s life ‘before’ Joe’s disapearance. The alternative points of view means the reader gets to unpick more and more about their life. Both Claire and Duncan (and in fact Joe, too) have their problems and neither are perfect. I struggled to connect with them at points in the story, although out of the two I definitely liked Claire more – Duncan was a real piece of work at times!
I felt the plot lagged a little in the middle and I wanted it to hurry up, but the ending is really impactful and I liked the way the author laid some clues that only become clear at the end.
This is an interesting read, but I just didn’t enjoy the structure of this novel and felt it was a little clumsy. However I would still read (and look forward to) future releases by Sophie Draper.
Many thanks to Avon Books for providing a copy of this novel, on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.