Magpie by Sophie Draper

One for sorrow. Two for joy. Three for a secret…

Book blurb

She’s married to him. But does she know him at all?

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?

My thoughts

Something has happened – we know not what!

Duncan and Claire married young, straight after University. They have a son Joe. He’s a difficult character, Claire thinks he may be on the autism spectrum. Still she loves him, he’s just turned eighteen and obsessed with history, especially old coins, and metal detecting.

We read the story from two points of view – Duncan and Claire; from two times – before and after.

Duncan is a very successful vet, Claire gave up her career to be a mother and wife.

Their marriage has been deteriorating for years, they ‘put a show on’ in public. Claire realises it’s time to go. She has made plans. She wants Joe to go with her and Arthur, their dog. She and Duncan are always arguing it’s no wonder Joe feels the need to go off. He’s gone missing before. Claire is so worried this time. Duncan says he’ll be back, he always comes back.

Then something happens.

This book is very evocative of its setting around Derbyshire which is lovingly drawn by Sophie Draper, it has a very eerie atmosphere and a deep sense of sadness, of loss. What happened we don’t know and it gives this book a tension and keeps you hooked wanting to know what it was, what will happen, how will things be resolved and then there’s a twist! What you have been reading is put into a different perspective and, after an intake of breath, you will understand. This book leaves you with a slightly creepy feeling but mostly with a lingering sense of sadness.


My thanks to Avon Publishing for an eCopy of Magpie by Sophie Draper via NetGalley. All thoughts are my own, I have not received any payment for this review.

Blog Tour

Thanks to Sanjana Cunniah at Avon for the invitation to review Magpie and join the BlogTour. Like to read more? – then take a whirl around this incredible list….


Published: 28 November 2019 by Avon (HarperCollins).

Buy: AmazonSmileUK

Author: I was brought up in Leicester and Scotland. Following an MA in Medieval History at St Andrews University, I qualified as a Chartered Accountant and had a busy career in London and then the East Midlands working in international finance. In that time I met my husband and settled in Derby. I then took a career break to have a family. Three gorgeous boys followed and I went back to work part-time whilst caring for my children and developing my interest in writing and storytelling.

I trained as a traditional oral storyteller. I “tell” and perform stories now (under the name Sophie Snell) for all ages – fairy tales, folk tales, myths and legends – I sing a little too (not that I’d claim to sing well, but it works with the stories…). It’s a life I adore, entertaining all ages and travelling around to some amazing venues. In 2013, I was nominated for the British Awards for Storytelling Excellence as Outstanding Female Storyteller. You can see my work as a storyteller on my website 

I also write. Writing novels was something I’d hoped to do all my life, but life kind of got in the way. Until the storytelling brought me back to my love of written words as well as spoken. After a few stops and starts, two years ago, I got stuck in to what has now become Cuckoo.

Cuckoo is a gothic psychological thriller. It won me the Bath Novel Award 2017 and also the York Festival of Writing Friday Night Live Award 2017. Cuckoo was published by Avon at Harper Collins on 29th November 2018. It was selected as a Fern Britton Pick in conjunction with Tesco’s, and reached the no1 spot on the Bookseller’s Heatseekers List. Cuckoo is currently available in all the usual high street bookstores, as well as online.

My second book, Magpie, is another psychological thriller, set in Derbyshire. It is being released on 28th November 2019. I am currently working on a third novel.

I live in rural Derbyshire with my husband and growing teenage boys. The house is filled with books, music, steaming piles of sports kit and we have a menagerie of various animals. I enjoy gardening, painting and making jam – can’t really explain that one – perhaps it’s the peace of sitting at the window in the kitchen prepping fruit and admiring the hillside views! I’m part of an amazing writer’s group we call #Doomsbury and meeting up for food and chat is always a pleasure. 

Sophie on Twitter

Sophie Draper: Website


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