Magpie: how to succeed at thriller writing

Elizabeth Day’s psychological thriller is both creepy and comforting

Magpie is the fifth novel by Elizabeth Day, best known for her podcast, How to Fail. Photograph:  Leonardo Cendamo/Getty

Magpie is the fifth novel by Elizabeth Day, best known for her podcast, How to Fail. Photograph: Leonardo Cendamo/Getty

For the superstitious, the magpie is considered an ill omen – if solitary, it is a bird synonymous with sorrow; it also has a reputation for stealing shiny things. As such, the title of Elizabeth Day’s fifth novel frames the reader’s expectations of what will be revealed as this atmospheric psychological thriller unfolds. 

Day is perhaps best known as the host of the chart-topping podcast How to Fail and the bestselling memoir it inspired. The frank interviews she conducts distil the knowledge and insights that come with the inevitable human failings of life. 

The Irish Times
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