Updated on May 19, 2015
13. ‘The Magpies’ by Mark Edwards
Every now and again you come across someone who just won’t listen. They’re stubborn, volatile, and they just can’t see anything from anybody else’s point of view. Admittedly they usually don’t turn out to be bona fide psychopaths, but it’s this very real experience that ‘The Magpies’ is based upon, and that’s why it’s so chilling.
When Kirsty and Jamie move into their new flat, they think they’ve found the perfect place to make their home and start a family. They throw a party, meet the neighbours and settle down into their new life.
Ah, the neighbours. It’s not long before mysterious things start to happen, and it seems that they people they live closest to could be to blame. Suddenly everything takes a dark turn and the young couple’s sunny optimism turns sour, as their dream home turns into a living hell.
This is a creepy, creepy book. Edwards captures the strain of the situation perfectly, gradually racking up the tension in each chapter until you realise that all the characters are way past the point of no return. My favourite scene was possibly the one with the spiders: I’m no arachnophobe but I felt itchy all over. I also loved the ambiguity of every situation – there wasn’t a lot of open confrontation between Kirsty and Jamie and their neighbours, who always had an excuse, so there was always the slim possibility that the whole thing could be a horrible misunderstanding.
Towards the end I found myself practically screaming at the book. Jamie is dangerously proud and steadfast in his determination to stay and fight for the apartment, but I just wanted him to leave. Of course, this very determination sends him into a downward spiral and leads to a shocking and gripping conclusion.
Beware. After reading this book, you may never be able to look at your neighbours the same way again…
Mark Edwards was kind enough to send me a Kindle copy of his book for review. I have worked with him before: I interviewed him last year, and I also hosted a guest post as part of the promotion for his and Louise Voss’ book, ‘All Fall Down’.
If you liked my review, why not buy the book and let me know what you think?