The Marsh Kind’s Daughter by Karen Dionne


The suspense thriller of the year – The Marsh King’s Daughter will captivate you from the start and chill you to the bone.

‘I was born two years into my mother’s captivity. She was three weeks shy of seventeen. If I had known then what I do now, things would have been a lot different. I would have been a lot more understanding of my mother. I wouldn’t have adored my father.’

When the notorious child abductor known as the Marsh King escapes from a maximum security prison, Helena immediately suspects that she and her two young daughters are in danger.

No one, not even her husband, knows the truth about Helena’s past: they don’t know that she was born into captivity, that she had no contact with the outside world before the age of twelve – or that her father raised her to be a killer.

And they don’t know that the Marsh King can survive and hunt in the wilderness better than anyone… except, perhaps his own daughter.

Packed with gripping suspense and powerful storytelling, The Marsh King’s Daughter is a one-more-page, read-in-one-sitting thriller that you’ll remember for ever.

My review:

The novel opens from Helena’s perspective in the present modern day! Helena is now a married woman and a mother to two young girls, Iris and Mari. However, like all good thrillers, Helena has a secret, a very dark complex secret.

The novel is literary in its content and there are verses of The Marsh Kings daughter at each chapter. I felt this added to the mystery and intrigue of Helena’s past. We learn that Helena’s husband Stephen is oblivious to her past life, that is until the ‘Marsh King’ escapes from his maximum security prison………..

When Helena hears over the radio announcement of her fathers, murderous escape from jail, I could literally feel Helena’s fear seeping of the pages! When her husband Stephen, learns of Helena’s dark past, it does not go as planned, but Helena knows exactly what she must do!

Jacob Holbrook is a sick depraved man. While we listen patiently to Helena as she recites her experiences, in captivity, with her teenage mother. She almost comes across as child-like, in her understanding of the traumatic events. I guess this the impact of over a decade of mind games and physical abuse. But Helena discusses her father’s mental health and the hunting lifestyle she endured, so very nonchalant. I had to ask myself, is Helena doomed to eternity, as a woman with the mentality of a 12 year old victim!

Helena flees into the wilderness, determined to have one last showdown with the man who has ruined her life, the marsh king, her father…….

I found this novel to be exceptionally gripping and I read it within 2-3hrs on a rainy afternoon. It was perfect escapism, albeit a very terrifying one! Highly recommend to fans of the psychological/thriller genre and in particular fans of The Room by Emma Donoghue. 4*

Karen Dionne
Authors Links:
Twitter: @KarenDionne

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