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4.2 out of 5 stars3,858
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on 22 March 2013
The novel opens with the seemingly idyllic lives of Jamie, a software engineer and Kirsty, a paediatric nurse; a young couple who are very much in love and starting out in their first home together - the `perfect' flat in North London, where they plan to start a family, get married and generally be blissfully happy... But this is a psychological thriller, so there's not much chance of any of that! With 3 sets of 'suspicious' neighbours it doesn't take long before the terror starts. It's innocuous at first. Hoax pizza deliveries, targeted junk mail, unwanted parcels. Then it becomes far more sinister...

This is a fast-paced read with excellent characterisation. It was clear from the outset that the happy couple's lives were about to be thrown into turmoil, and the way it was all revealed was subtle and creepy enough to keep the feeling of dread trickling throughout.

Anyone who has ever had a dodgy neighbour will really relate to this book! Highly recommended.
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on 23 March 2013
When Jamie and Kirsty move into their new flat, everything seems perfect. But not for long... Firefighters and pizza deliveries start to show up at their front door, and it becomes clear that their new neighbours are starting to play hoaxes on our loved up couple. Their tricks turn into genuine hostility, putting Jamie, Kirsty and their friends in danger. The police can't help, and Jamie starts to question not only his sanity, but how far he is willing to go to stop their neighbours from hell. This is a brilliant solo debut from Mark Edwards- forget zombies and werewolves, The Magpies is a seriously creepy novel!
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on 27 April 2013
I was recommended this book by a friend, I downloaded it and started reading on a long train journey. The journey flew by and I couldn't put it down, I needed to know what happened!

The story is creepy in parts, and the really scary thing is that it could happen in real life! I enjoyed the style of writing and felt the story flowed well.

I would recommend this book if you are looking for a psychological thriller that you will want to finish in one sitting!
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on 27 June 2014
Read the full review at: [...]

This is Mark Edwards first solo novel, and I have to say that I was intrigued and super engrossed from page one. I am not really a massive fan of thrillers, as I get scared easily, but The Magpies has a way of keeping me completely gripped no matter how scared I was getting, I just couldn't put the book down. I think it was because I was more curious as too how the book would end and had to find out, even if I will be forever scared of potential future neighbours!

From the get go, I was pulled into the book due to feeling of total helplessness and frailty of the character and her experiences of the place that she was leaving. So I was consumed by curiosity as to what had happened to drive this women to want to live in place far from people and erase all traces of herself. And I was not let down in believing that whatever had caused this had been terrifying. But what mostly kept me reading was that the book was more psychological than physically terrifying. So you are constantly kept wondering whether all the things happening is actually happening or if the characters are only going mad and imaging these things. Making it so that you are always questioning what the heck is going on

This book is a fantastic terrifying read that will have you gripped from the get go! Not to mention that it will stay with you long after you have finished reading it. The way in which Edwards drew in all the weird unexplained things that happened in the book and bound them together in the conclusion of the book really ended it beautifully. I couldn't imagine how it could of ended any other way. Overall, it is this book that has started my love for thrillers and I cannot wait to get my hands on more of Mark Edwards novels.
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on 17 April 2013
There are some scary moments and the story is chilling, however the dialogue is rather irksome at times and the young couple's inaction in the light of such harassment is a little bewildering.
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on 9 April 2013
I must admit I wasn't expecting a lot for 99p and was pleasantly surprised at what I actually got - a very decent and original thriller. Never mind ghosts and ghouls and things which go bump in the night - this novel deals with the real horror of the urban dweller - the nightmare neighbour! I agree with the reviewer who says it's hard to find simply written novels - in fact I've abandoned many downloaded samples after the writer takes a page to describe what could be said in one sentence - but I really liked ME's simple direct style - it's fresh, sounds contemporary and feels like you are really getting into the mind of the character.

Mark and Lucy, the neighbours from hell, are a great study in passive aggressive hostility and I wasn't surprised to find he had based them (loosely) on real people. They are expert at provoking while staying within the letter of the law while their unfortunate victims are slowly driven to the point of despair. I really admired the author's restraint - the constant niggling harrassment that the young couple experience is very well portrayed and he even leaves the element of doubt as to whether certain episodes are really the handiwork of Lucy and Chris or just coincidence.

The reason I only gave this novel 4 stars is that the ending doesn't quite work for me - I was expecting some great last minute plot twist but that doesn't really come off - other than that it was very entertaining. I would be interested to read his other novels to see if he really is a great new talent or whether this was just a fluke. Definitely would recommend - especially at the current price - it's great value for money!
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on 8 June 2013
Despite the fact that this is currently in the top 100 chart on Amazon and that I look at this frequently I somehow managed to miss this book. It is the current read for the kindle book group of which I am a member of and once I read the description I knew I had to read it.
At less than a pound it was a bargain and once I read the first couple of pages I was hooked and found myself reading it every time I had a spare minute. Although I am a fast reader I read it in four days which is fast even for me. Several times I found myself reading well into the night even though I knew I had to be up early for work. I simply had to know what was going to happen next.
When Jamie and Kirsty buy a flat they think that their lives are going to be perfect but their downstairs neighbours Lucy and Chris seem a little off. Despite appearing friendly at first they soon set about making Kirsty and Jamie's lives hell complaining that they are too loud. Then taxis that weren't booked, pizza's that weren't ordered and fire engines that aren't needed start turning up. They are convinced that Lucy and Chris are behind these hoax calls but with no proof the police are reluctant to take them seriously.
How can Kisty and Jamie put a stop to it and why are their neighbours doing this to them?
I loved the characters and the storyline and really enjoyed this book. I cannot recommend it enough. I'm looking forward to reading more by this fantastic author.
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on 3 January 2014
I enjoyed this book and although it didn't have a far fetched twist at the end I still thought it played with your mind. It was believable unlike most books on the market and I felt myself staying awake in bed after reading it wondering how many shades of brown stuff I would have liked to have kicked out of Lucy and Chris if they were my neighbours, but couldnt cause I have a conscience and would get sacked!!
And that is the point I think here - in real life there is no fancy ending but this situation could quite easily befall any of us who have real neighbours from hell!
I liked both characters from the start although obviously for a while thought Jamie was just losing the plot - and I would hope he later carries on to be with Heather. Who he'll then dump cause she isn't like Lucy!

One review states that it conforms to stereotypes - well as UN-pc add it is stereotypes exist for a reason and if this book panders to this then so what - it did what I paid for - made me a bit envious of there initial relationship, made me body anxious, angry of how Jamie wasn't dealing with the situation how I would and ultimately glad the evil Lucy and Chris eventually got there comeuppance.

One criticism tho - I think the neighbours could have been better used in the story to maybe create more atmosphere or menace - I just don't believe they couldn't know anything of how the 'magpies" really were.
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on 29 April 2013
This is a great book.. I really hated it when my train journey into work came to an end and I had to wait all day before I could continue on the way home..!!
I agree, it's like a modern day Rosemary's Baby but I preferred this because it was so much more believable.. This could happen..! I was freaked out by the spiders and convinced I would find one in my bath later that night.. (I didn't I'm glad to say)
I tried to guess the outcome and got it completely wrong. I was sad and suprised at the ending. The only thing that I was a bit confused about was why did Paul change so much? I thought it was going to come out that Chris had been turning him against Jamie, Kirsty and Heather.
I have never felt compelled to write a book review before, and I have read thousands over the years.. (but then I have never got so involved in the plot and the characters)
Think I have driven all my family and friends mad telling them how good this book is...!
I am now on a mission to find a book just as gripping.. I have this void to fill !
Obviously, I would recommend this book to everyone !
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This book is very very readable, one of those books you really cannot put down. It's so normal, what happens could happen to anyone which is the scary thing, and makes me worry that the house next door to me is for sale!
Gripping from the beginning this is a fantastic read, with an ending I didn't expect and didn't really want, but can't have a happy ending every time. I would certainly read another book by the author.
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