Stone the Dead Crows - Carrie Magillen
Little Robin Press
Psychological Thriller Fans rating - 95%
Having read and loved Magillen’s debut thriller, When He’s Not Here, I had high expectations for the second book in The Sharif Thrillers, and I am happy to say that I wasn’t disappointed.
I listened to the audiobook of Stone the Dead Crows, read by two heavyweights of the narrating world, Joanne Froggatt and Louise Brealey.
As you would expect, Froggatt and Brealey both did an outstanding job of bringing Magillen’s carefully crafted cast of characters to life.
The book follows the lives of three sisters: Rose, Maggie and Daisy. Rose is newly married to Nathan, a handsome doctor who swept her off her feet in a whirlwind romance. Maggie is on a sabbatical in a cabin in the woods with her husband Luc and their young son Alfie. And Daisy has spent the last three years in a coma in the very hospital where Nathan works.
Rose and Maggie’s lives are – on paper at least – picture-perfect. But Rose’s new husband is growing increasingly jealous and controlling, and Maggie is becoming fixated by a sinister hooded man in the woods who she is convinced is a threat to her little family.
At first, Rose and Maggie are following very different paths, and it’s hard to see how their stories will intertwine. Daisy is the common denominator, the link in the Venn diagram of their lives. So, when Daisy’s doctor announces that her condition is worsening and they must consider turning off her life support, the two sisters must come together if they are to save her.
Magillen weaves the threads of Rose and Maggie’s stories together so skilfully that you don’t even realise she’s doing it until she reveals the final, stunning twist.
I did begin to guess which way the story was heading, but only when I was about three-quarters of the way through the book, and only because I was listening very closely for clues because I knew from her first book that Magillen is the queen of great twists and I had challenged myself to see if I could spot the revelations before she revealed them to me.
Even so, the sheer cleverness of the plot took my breath away.
Once again, Magillen does not shy away from some extremely emotive subjects, but she handles them all with compassion and empathy. And once again, the book is extremely well researched.
I was hooked from the first few pages to the very satisfying conclusion and can say without hesitation that Stone the Dead Crows is even better than When He’s Not Here.
I gave it a 95% Psychological Thrillers Fans rating.
Three sisters. Two strangers. One secret.
Maggie has an impossible choice. Stay and protect her family from the hooded stalker in the woods? Or return to Rose and help her fight the doctors who want to remove life support from their sister, Daisy?
There’s a man at Daisy’s bedside. He says Rose can trust him. But he's telling her disturbing things about her devoted new husband that can’t possibly be true.
Two strangers start the clock. It’s ticking for three devoted sisters. And when time runs out, they won’t just be fighting for each other's survival. They’ll be fighting for their own.
Three. Two. One.
The countdown has begun.
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OTHER BOOKS BY THE AUTHOR:
When He’s Not Here
AJ McDine writes dark, twisty domestic thrillers about ordinary people in extraordinary situations. A former journalist and police press officer, she is married to fellow thriller writer, AJ Wills.