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230 of 243 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This could be real... and that's scary.
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...
Published on 23 Mar. 2013 by O. Reynolds

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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Chilling story, a little lacking in the telling
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.
Published on 17 April 2013 by Lili


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230 of 243 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This could be real... and that's scary., 23 Mar. 2013
By 
O. Reynolds - See all my reviews
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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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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Chilling story, a little lacking in the telling, 17 April 2013
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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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102 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everybody needs good neighbours..., 22 Mar. 2013
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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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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down, 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary things happening to ordinary people, 25 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: The Magpies (Kindle Edition)
This is the second book I have read from Mark Edwards, following swiftly on from Because She Loves Me. It turns out that, in theory, there is a character who is a connection between the two books which means that they actually occur in the opposite order to the order I read them. But, without giving anything away, it turns out that it doesn't matter one bit and it certainly doesn't affect the reading of either novel.

The premise of the book is clear - the perfect new London flat which was to be the start of so many hopes and dreams for the central couple Jamie and Kirsty would soon not be quite the romantic idyll it seemed. With the first seeds of doubt sewn from a prank pizza delivery at the moving-in party on day one, the couple have a mystery on their hands as to who would want to spoil their happy existence. Although the main suspects are soon identified, this doesn't detract from the constant suspense as events unfurl, with enough doubt to cast suspicion in several alternate directions.

Mark Edwards writes on his Amazon page that his influences are anything where "scary things happen to ordinary people". And this is I think what makes this such a compelling read. Anyone who has lived in converted London flats, or anyone who has had issues with neighbours (in my case, I tick both boxes), would find it easy to imagine some of the episodes that unfolded happening to them. And that in turn leaves you constantly wondering just what you would do in Jamie's shoes.

It's a good fast-paced read. I don't know if it's possible for a Kindle book to be a "page-turner" but the fact is that I finished the book in one sitting, which is something I almost never do. For that reason it would be unfair not to give it five stars.
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58 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everybody Needs Good Neighbours..., 1 April 2013
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Fresh from his success as part of an ace writing duo with Louise Voss, Mark Edwards goes solo with new release 'The Magpies'. Billed as a psychological thriller which raises questions about the depths of despair your neighbours can take you, Edwards manages to provide so much more than just another 'nasty neighbour' story. Creating characters you really feel for from the off, it is the incredible amount of dread which drips off the page which raises this book above its counterparts.

Deftly skilled and excellently plotted 'The Magpies' begins almost sedately, with our heroes Kirsty and Jamie moving into their dream flat, only for that dream to be slowly torn apart across the story. The normality of their lives is in stark contrast to what comes next, with the introduction of Lucy and Chris Newton, their downstairs neighbours. With each day comes just a little more horror, creeping into the narrative forcing you to read on. What Kirsty and Jamie go through is horrendous, and you'll be turning the pages (or clicking that button on your kindle!) quicker and quicker as you reach the horrifying ending.

Absorbing and frighteningly all too real for those who have experienced the nightmare of bad neighbours, 'The Magpies' is a fantastic story, which really shows off the versatility of Edwards. Highly recommended!
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could not put down..., 29 April 2013
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Chilling thriller but with few surprises, 13 July 2013
By 
Joanne Sheppard (England) - See all my reviews
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Kirsty and Jamie buy their first home together, a pleasant flat in a London suburb, and are initially delighted with their new neighbours - an eccentric herbalist, an easy-going children's writer and his wife, and the Newtons, a couple downstairs who seem keen to be friends. But it doesn't take long before a tragedy strikes and Kirsty and Jamie's relationship with the Newtons sours. Are Chris and Lucy Newton just difficult neighbours, or is something more sinister afoot?

The Magpies is a chilling psychological thriller that, to anyone who has had the sort of neighbours who seem determined to make one's life a misery, seems horribly plausible at times. Jamie and Kirsty - although I couldn't help feeling I'd find them slightly irritating if I met them, with their smug inability to keep their hands off each other and their slightly sitcom-cliche style best mates - are certainly believable as a young couple making their first step on to the property ladder and planning to start a family. Less believable, however, are some of their reactions to the horrors that unfold around them. I find it hard to accept, for example, that anyone who believed an intruder with a key to their property had been letting themselves in and creeping around wouldn't immediately change their front door's locks. For a thriller, it's a little lacking in surprises too. As a throwaway, pacy psychological thriller to read on a plane, though, it was entertaining enough and certainly kept me turning the pages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really impressed - and surprised!, 9 April 2013
By 
A. Linton (Manchester, Manchester United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A book for readers of limited dimensions?, 10 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: The Magpies (Kindle Edition)
This was the first full-length novel I read on a Kindle. I wanted to experience reading on a screen, rather than on a paper page, and I also wanted to experience the work of an author who has seen success as an 'indie' author. The numerous reviews (as well as the subject matter) gave me the impression that this would be a good all-round sampler to try out.

Although the writing was technically competent, the story and its characters lacked depth and oomph; I longed for something vaguely resembling tension to break out, or for any of the characters to make it past being vapid and one-dimensional. I was actually quite stunned that a book with so little depth, or the ability to provoke any real feelings, could accrue quite so many positive reviews. It's hard to fathom.

But after some thought, my only conclusion - with no intention of being deliberately unkind - is that novels about one- or at best two-dimensional characters must appeal to readers with similarly limited dimensions. I am not saying there's anything wrong with this, and clearly the book has considerable appeal, and has been a 'success'.

This read to me like the bones of a potentially gripping story that never hit the high notes, and I will be reluctant to pick up another work by this author. Reading time is precious and writers need to invest it with every dimension that's going.
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The Magpies
The Magpies by Mark Edwards
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