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Lucy Atkins Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Missing One (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Other Child (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Night Visitor (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Magpie Lane (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Windmill Hill (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Blooming Birth (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
First-Time Parent (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cancer Survivor's Companion: Practical Ways to Cope With Your Feelings After Cancer (With: Frances Goodhart) (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Joanna Hall's Walkactive Programme (With: Joanna Hall) (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
How to Feel Better (With: Frances Goodhart) (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

Lucy Atkins is an English author of suspense and a journalist. Her notable books include the Magpie Lane, a literary suspense mystery set in Oxford College, chosen as a Book of the Year by the Good Housekeeping magazine, The Guardian, and Telegraph. Her other novel, The Night Visitor, was optioned for television. Atkins lecturers creative writing at the University of Oxford. She is also a book critic for the Guardian and the Sunday Times, has judged the Costa Book Awards, and has written for United Kingdom newspapers, including the Times, Guardian, Sunday Times, Sunday Express, Telegraph, and many other magazines.

Before transitioning to writing, Lucy Atkins took jobs with Amnesty International and the Times Literary Supplement. She attended Oxford University, majoring in English and a master’s in English and American literature in the USA. She has lived in different cities, including Seattle, Boston, Philadelphia, and Oxford.

First published in 2020, Magpie Lane tells the story of an 8-year-old daughter who disappears in the dead of night. With nowhere else to look, the cops turn to nanny Dee for answers. As Dee flashes back, a picture of a successful but broken family emerges; Nick, his beautiful wife Mariah, pregnant with their child; and a lost little girl. But is Dee hiding something? Is her growing friendship with Linklater a concern? Above all, why was Felicity mute?

This is a standard case of a novel so good, intelligently plotted, and structured throughout with well-crafted characters that will keep you engaged from the first page to the last. Lucy Atkins delivers a fascinating mystery that oozes with the utmost intrigue and unique storytelling, demonstrating the author’s extraordinary inventiveness to bring attention to every detail. The well-conceived narrator and intricately woven dual timeline style add to the story’s credibility along with the important themes, with are well-researched and explored throughout the story.

Tracing her roots in Scotland, Dee is a nanny being questioned by the cops about Felicity’s disappearance while under her care. The young girl is selectively mute and the daughter of a University of Oxford Dean, Nick Law. The cops and Felicity’s father strongly suspect that Dee was somehow involved, but she has a strong alibi- she was at a London theater when the young girl disappeared.

After an eternity of questioning, Dee explains to the police officers how the young girl was neglected by her father and stepmother, Mariah. Nick married Mariah soon after Felicity’s mother died. Dee explains that she had developed a strong relationship with Felicity and swore to protect her after the young girl was subject to bullying and showed sleepwalking tendencies.

Despite raising her concerns with the young girl’s father in the months before the disappearance, Dee was mainly ignored, while Mariah failed to provide the care and attention her stepdaughter needed. Dee struggles to maintain her composure under the investigation by the cops, as she is aware of her previous criminal records. Several elements of the Magpie Lane plotline make it so gripping, with the most important being whether Dee knows more about Felicity’s whereabouts than she is revealing to the cops. Lucy Atkins reveals this to the reader through recounts of a series of unsettling and curious events, and through this, the reader can discern that something was outright wrong in that household. This helps contribute to suspicion and an overall sense of mystery.

The story begins to build up as the questioning from the cops becomes so intense, and at this point, there are plenty of genuine possibilities only for the ending to provide the best outcome. The novel is written from Dee’s point of view, set in the present, but part of it jumps back in time to the events leading up to the day Felicity disappeared. Dee’s interactions with the cops are notable as they don’t have any speech marks but instead seem like Dee’s monologue. This helps the reader to have a better glimpse at her character, and through these scenes and her remembering of caring for Felicity, it allows you to get right into her head.

Dee is a brilliantly woven character. A societal misfit with a heartbreaking but intriguing backstory, she is the character who doesn’t allow others to gain complete trust in her. Still, her caring and understanding nature towards Felicity is unquestionable. She seems old-fashioned with some unique mannerisms, and this uniqueness makes her easy to connect with. For a contemporary novel, Lucy Atkins gives her setting a classical atmosphere that makes it feel like an extra character. The history of Nick’s house is an important sub-plot with regular stories of its previous residents and ghosts, along with Felicity’s sleepwalking tendencies and the priest hole, contributing to its total eeriness. The setting plays a vital role in capturing the core of the story.

Another aspect of the book which makes it so enjoyable is the writing style. It’s light-hearted and full of detail. The characters play an essential role, especially Linklater and Dee.

The Night Visitor is the story of Olivia Sweetman, a beautiful and successful college professor who has begun to make her mark on television. She struggles to balance her professional and domestic responsibilities with her husband and their three kids.
Vivian is a socially uncomfortable and isolated maid at Ileford Manor, where her employer is in a nursing facility, and she is in charge of the mansion and its belongings.

One day, a flyer promises Olivia the opportunity to view the previously unexplored diary of one of the first female surgeons, Annabel Burley, at Ileford Manor. Olivia travels to Ileford, where she reads the journal of Annabel, a medical pioneer and confessed murderer. Olivia cannot pass up the opportunity to write a book regarding Annabel, so to obtain permission to use the diary, she befriends Vivian and employs her as a research student for the book, a task at which Vivian excels.

What follows is a magnificent character analysis of the two women, their secrets, and the lengths they will go to get what they desire. Vivian is a complicated character whose personality permeates every page she appears on. Olivia is a sympathetic protagonist with flaws.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Lucy Atkins

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