Of Magpies and Men by Ode Ray

I am very excited to be involved in the first ever “A Quintillion Reads” blog tour! A Quintillon Reads is a wonderful group of bloggers from around the world, who work together to support authors who choose to independently publish their books.

I was drawn to this on by the intriguing cover, which suggests that this book will be about fractured identity, and will have elements of mystery and drama.


Can any good come of longings that a person can never satisfy? If so, good for whom?

Two corpses wash ashore in a picturesque Italian village, the violence that put them there is bound to a long-held secret and two strangers living worlds apart with seemingly nothing in common.

Benedict Grant, a wealthy Londoner, leading a lonely life. Marie Boulanger. a nurse and single mum, struggling to make ends meet in Marseille.

However, a mother’s illicit revelation will set in motion a chain of events that will reshape their identities, stir poignant family affairs and delve into the by-products of lawless decisions.

With this domestic thriller, discover a captivating and moving story of impossible yearnings, weaving mystery and drama peppered with humour. A tale that will stay with you long after its final page and a twist you won’t see coming.

My thoughts:

The author uses the interesting motif and narrative tool of a mysterious text message, sent by someone who wouldn’t normally send text messages, to grab your attention at the beginning of the story. This definitely caused me to become intrigued about what would be revealed.

The use of multiple time lines focus you in on key events, and ensure that the narrative development is of an appropriate pace, as you piece together the puzzle (much like the puzzle on the cover!) However, I found myself having to pay close attention and concentrate hard in order to really follow what was going on.

Benedict is not a likeable character, but I don’t like likeable characters very often – sometimes they’re too boring for print! Benedict is a character who thrives on power and control. However, there is a sympathetic strand to his character as he clearly struggles to deal with many of the things that are thrown at him in the book, including loss, and his hidden sexuality.

Overall, this is a complex, intriguing tale where the author explores lots of human issues, including family dynamics, sexuality, loss and much more. There is an unexpected lightness at times, which is a welcome relief from some of the more serious themes of the book. I also liked to consider what the relevance of the title had, especially the symbol of the ‘magpie’, and this becomes more clear at the end…

I would recommend this book to fans of domestic drama and mystery, who enjoy deep character analysis, original structures and complex storylines!



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