Imagine finding your perfect home with the love of your life and being certain that all your life is coming together just as it should. Jamie and Kirsty are delighted to find the home of their dreams at a knock down price; the neighbours appear friendly; the neighbourhood is quiet and orderly. What could possibly go wrong?
The first chapter gives us a bit of a clue, as the incumbent tenants are vacating what we assume is the same flat, displaying significant psychological and emotional trauma relating directly to their tenancy.
In ‘The Magpies’, Mark Edwards embellishes his own real-life experiences to craft a terrifying tale about the neighbours from hell. I think maybe I didn’t really believe this sort of thing happened, but then I was talking about the plot to a friend, and she said that a similar thing had happened to her and her husband in the early days of their relationship, when they too lived in a flat in London. I wonder if it was the same flat……
Little by little, strange things start to happen. It starts with small, minor inconveniences and builds to a state of slight paranoia, then a normal-life restricting major irritation, then worse and worse from there.
This is a creepy and intense psychological thriller. Although, there are early signs that we might be jumping to the wrong conclusion, the story is made all the more real and frightening because we are not led through major plot twists and turns. We just start to wonder why? What motivates people to behave this way?
I’ve seen some criticism levelled at the realism of the characters of Jamie and Kirsty, but this ignores that fact that not all people are the same. I don’t think I am like Jamie and Kirsty. My relationship with my husband is totally different from theirs. We don’t have the types of conversation they have. This does not make this unrealistic. It just describes the sort of relationship that many people have. I can well imagine friends of ours being like them. But you know what? This could happen to anyone; we see it on TV as well. It doesn’t matter what type of person you are, or what your relationship with your partner is like, or if you are on your own or with your family. What would you do? How far would you go to protect yourselves? How much could you take?
Mark Edwards is thorough in his exploration of this experience. There is also a lot of sexual content, but it serves fair purpose to show the inhibition they suffer during their horrifying experience.
Really enjoyed this and was impressively creeped out.
To bag yourself a copy, click here: The Magpies
About the author:
Mark Edwards writes psychological thrillers, and counts among his influences writers such as Stephen King, Ira Levin, Ruth Rendell, Ian McEwan, Val McDermid and Donna Tartt, and movies like Rosemary’s Baby, Single White Female, Fatal Attraction and anything in which scary things happen to ordinary people.
His first solo novel, The Magpies (2013), reached the No.1 spot on Amazon UK and has sold 550,000 copies to date. This was followed by What You Wish For (2014), Because She Loves Me (2014), Follow You Home (2015), The Devil’s Work (2016), The Lucky Ones (2017), The Retreat (2018) and In Her Shadow (2018). These can be read in any order. He also published A Murder of Magpies, a short sequel to The Magpies, in 2018.
He also co-writes with Louise Voss. Their novels are: Killing Cupid (2011); Catch Your Death (2011); All Fall Down (2012); Forward Slash and a series featuring Detective Inspector Patrick Lennon, starting with From the Cradle (2014) and The Blissfully Dead (2015).
He grew up on the south coast of England and starting writing in his twenties. He lived in Tokyo for a year before returning to the UK and starting a career in marketing. He now writes full-time and lives in the West Midlands, England, with his wife, their three children, two cats and a golden retriever.