Lockdown Reads #2 Magpie Lane


When the eight-year-old daughter of an Oxford College Master vanishes in the middle of the night, police turn to the Scottish nanny, Dee, for answers.

As Dee looks back over her time in the Master’s Lodging – an eerie and ancient house – a picture of a high achieving but dysfunctional family emerges: Nick, the fiercely intelligent and powerful father; his beautiful Danish wife Mariah, pregnant with their child; and the lost little girl, Felicity, almost mute, seeing ghosts, grieving her dead mother.

But is Dee telling the whole story? Is her growing friendship with the eccentric house historian, Linklater, any cause for concern? And most of all, why is Felicity silent?

Roaming Oxford’s secret passages and hidden graveyards, Magpie Lane explores the true meaning of family – and what it is to be denied one.

Magpie Lane, thriller, Lucy Atkins, Oxford, nanny, bad mother


If you are looking for a book to grip you tight and refuse to let you go during the lockdown, then look no further. An unforgettable and atmospheric Oxford thriller that will remain with you long after you’ve closed its final page…

An unreserved place on my thrillers of the year so far, buy yourself a copy here


I fell hard for the beautiful writing and ghostly mood of Magpie Lane. Dee, a riveting Russian doll of a character, had me in her thrall from start to finish. Highly recommendedLouise Candlish

Clever and creepy, twisty yet tenderMagpie Lane will have you hearing footsteps overhead in an empty house. I loved it, Erin Kelly

‘Full of hidden chambers, and some of them are haunted . . . part thriller, part love story, wholly beguiling. I was glued to every page’, Mick Herron

‘Lucy Atkins excels at creating highly intelligent, slightly eccentric outsiders. I was completely immersed . . . and preoccupied, and appalled, by such credible characters. I loved it!’, Sarah Vaughan

The most sublime book I’ve read since Apple Tree Yard . . . masterful writing from an experienced hand. I’ll be gushing about this for a while’, Jo Spain

‘So clever and different. I raced through for the reveal but also the spookiness, the characters and the wonderful love story’, Sabine Durrant

‘A brilliant feat – a creepy, chilling, page-turning tale that also made me laugh out loud. I can think of no other writer who pulls that off’ Kate Hamer

‘Intricate, intelligent, and immensely satisfying, and with a deliciously spooky edge. It really is first-class Oxford intrigue’, Cara Hunter

‘That rare thing: a thriller that warms your heart even as it chills your spine. I adored it on so many levels – the page-turning tension, the emotional depth of the central relationship. Simply brilliant!‘, JP Delaney

Beguilingbrilliantly creepy, and an utterly compelling read. Lucy Atkins has created such a complex character in Dee: I rooted for her, and yet was suspicious of her; swept along by her love story, but worried for her. A wonderful story, Claire Fuller



‘Highly recommended’ Louise Candlish
‘Clever and creepy’ Erin Kelly
‘Beguiling’ Mick Herron

‘Spellbindingly brilliant’ Sarah Hilary
‘Highly intelligent’ Sarah Vaughan
‘Sublime’ Jo Spain
‘Different’ Sabine Durrant
‘Chilling’ Kate Hamer
‘Simply brilliant!’ JP Delaney
‘Twisted’ Amanda Jennings


2 thoughts on “Lockdown Reads #2 Magpie Lane

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