‘Magpie’ is the latest book by Sophie Draper.
Claire lives with her family in a beautiful house overlooking the water. But she feels as if she’s married to a stranger – one who is leading a double life. As soon as she can get their son Joe away from him, she’s determined to leave Duncan. But finding out the truth about Duncan’s secret life leads to consequences Claire never planned for. Now Joe is missing, and she’s struggling to piece together the events of the night that tore them all apart. Alone in an isolated cottage, hiding from Duncan, Claire tries to unravel the lies they’ve told each other, and themselves. Something happened to her family … But can she face the truth?
A dark and bleak story, ‘Magpie’ follows the story of Claire and Duncan before and after the break down of their marriage as well as the disappearance of their teenage son. Seen from the narrative of both people as they deal with the sudden changes to their lives and repercussions that they embark on. To the outside world, they are a happy couple. Duncan’s vetinary business is thriving and Claire plays the role of the stay at home doting wife, even though she longs more from life. She is miserable in her marriage and makes plans to leave Duncan, but it seems that when she escaped the unhappy marriage, she was still no happier in life, particularly when her son disappears.
There’s an interesting mix of characters from the bullyish Duncan who is abrupt and short with humans, but with animals, he’s kind and gentle. He’s nasty towards Claire and makes her feel worthless and insignificant which is difficult to read at times. Claire, was once a confident and happy woman but now questions everything around her and puts her son’s safety and happiness before hers at all times. Joe is also an complex character, althought not diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, he shows symptoms of the illness particularly his obsession with going out with his metal detector.
At the forefront of the story is the breakdown of a marriage, a son’s disappearance as well as a discovery of secrets and lies that made for interesting reading. The story is written cleverly in past and present tense and this was interesting twist that really pulled the reader in. Atmospheric, suspenseful and filled with drama, ‘Magpie’ was a vividly written story that captivates the reader from the first page.
You can buy ‘Magpie’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.