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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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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 1 April 2013
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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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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on 31 May 2013
I suppose this book merits a one star for the idea behind the story, but unfortunately the author doesn't follow through.

I was lured into buying it by the 5 star rave reviews and it was only 99p, but I was very disappointed. I didn't find the story at all gripping and thought the characters were undeveloped and shallow.

There was a lack of atmosphere and suspense and too much padding out with banal conversation, boring description of everyday activities and badly written sex scenes. After reading about a third of the book I skip read to the end as I found it dull.

The two main characters Jamie and Kirsty were immature and unlikeable. Jamie is spineless and stupid so the ending didn't surprise me - what else could we expect from him? Other characters were sketchily drawn and I never got the feeling that I knew why they were acting as they did.

I think the author missed out here. With a bit more thought and work this could have been an opportunity to create a real 'psychological thriller'. Perhaps I'm comparing it to too many other good books I've read. This one's not for me. Other people obviously loved it but I wouldn't recommend it if you want a story and characters with some substance.
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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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Against my better judgment, I began The Magpies the late afternoon after finishing Follow You Home at two in the morning. Somehow I thought I could just put my Kindle down because I was still tired. Funny how easy it is to delude oneself, isn’t it?

Here we have another early thirties couple in fortuitous circumstances: Jamie buys the perfect flat in London with insurance settlement money unfortunately from the death of his parents, and his girlfriend Kirsty moves in with him. The future for these two is bright enough, so bright that you just know disaster is waiting, but you can’t tell yet from which direction. The basement or garden flat, as it happens, abode of Chris and Lucy Newton, who in short order become The Neighbors from Hell, although it takes some time to realize that their assaults are not limited to complaining about noise or ignoring folks on the front steps. Oh, not at all…

Just as harrowing—and page-turning—as the desire to discover exactly how far the Newtons will go and how they get away with it is the desire for Jamie in particular to get a grip or risk losing everything. But Jamie is often spineless, often gullible, and maddeningly reluctant to abandon his “perfect flat,” even when he knows—or thinks he knows—the extent of the Newtons’ evil, and more important, when he knows Kirsty may not remain to see what’s next in the line-up of horrors. In some ways, my desire to strangle Jamie for his incomprehensible behavior and bad choices diluted—almost!—some of the dry-mouth tension in the last half of the book.

I thought it was rather amusing that a couple of readers deplored the degree of sexual activity between Jamie and Kirsty, but it was clear the early intimacy served to show very clearly how the idea of being violated in another sense by strangers can strip a couple of their previous sexual closeness. Kirsty said at one point, and Jamie certainly echoed it, that now they had no place to come home to, no safe place, no sanctuary from work, from the world outside the perfect flat that was now so terribly imperfect. Some others disliked the author's notes at the end, which tied up what they considered loose ends. That didn't bother me--I preferred the story just as it was, with its full steam ahead avalanche approach. The essential elements of the narrative were right where they needed to be--in the story.

That’s what magpies do, you see—they prey on other birds, most often songbirds, foul their nests and eat their young. I thought it was an interesting tidbit that when Jamie tried to contact the flat’s previous owner, he discovered a mysterious “L. Pica.” Pica is the genus name for magpies.

Perhaps this book should have a warning on its cover: “Do not begin reading after eight p.m.” But folks, we’re adults here, right? We can stop whenever we like…
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