Winner of Suspense Magazine’s Crimson Scribe award, designating it their best book of 2017, and named one of the best books of 2017 by iBooks, Hudson Booksellers, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, The Daily Telegraph, Library Journal, and many other booksellers and reviewers.
“Subtle, brilliant, and mature . . . about as good as a thriller can be.” — The New York Times Book Review
” . . . a nail-biter perfect for Room fans.” — Cosmopolitan
“Spine-tingling.” — People
When the notorious child abductor, “The Marsh King,” escapes from a maximum security prison in Michigan’s remote Upper Peninsula wilderness, Helena Pelletier is sure she can use the hunting and tracking skills she learned as a child to find him. After all, no one is The Marsh King’s equal when it comes to navigating the marshland—except Helena herself, his daughter.
But as Helena hunts her father to return him to prison, gradually she realizes that his escape is the first step in an elaborate scheme to kidnap her and her two young daughters. As their cat and quarry game unfolds, she must use all of her wilderness skills not only to thwart his plan, but to survive it. READ AN EXCERPT
Curious how Karen got the idea for THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER?
Here’s one of her favorite radio interviews in which she explains how the story came to be.
Karen has also written about her homesteading experiences in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula which inform the novel. Check out this piece in YOU Magazine to learn more (with pictures!).
You might also enjoy this gorgeous video of Michigan’s Tahquamenon Falls in winter — the location for one of the pivotal scenes in the novel.
THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER will soon be available in 25 languages!
“Subtle, brilliant, and mature . . . In its balance of emotional patience and chapter-by-chapter suspense, “The Marsh King’s Daughter” is about as good as a thriller can be.” — The New York Times
“Exceptional . . . Helena’s conflicting emotions about her father and her own identity elevate this powerful story.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
” . . . a nail-biter perfect for Room fans.” — Cosmopolitan
“Karen Dionne’s breathtaking psychological thriller is a fairy tale writ large . . . the suspense in the plotting and the cold distance Helena’s voice projects [holds readers] entranced until the stunning climax.” — Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“a creepy, moody, highly atmospheric psychological suspense novel . . . distinctly memorable, with spiraling, escalating tension and surprising dark revelations.” — Lansing State Journal
“a different sort of suspenseful narrative tide than The Room . . . The beautifully written stories of Helena’s remembered youth ebb and flow with stories from the present and dream-like excerpts from the fairy tale. Read this book if you’ve ever had the fantasy of being an accomplished outdoorswoman—a sort of Katniss MacGyver—who could take care of herself in any situation.” — A&E
“[A] well-crafted, eerie, and unnerving psychological thriller. With a strong setting and swift pacing, this novel is recommended for readers who enjoyed Emma Donoghue’s Room and Travis Mulhauser’s Sweetgirl.” — Library Journal
“THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER is both suspenseful and deeply evocative, the kind of novel that begs to be read in a single sitting — but possibly not the best choice for a vacation in the north woods, at least not if you want to sleep at night.” — Bookreporter
“a literary thriller of the highest order, reminiscent of John Hart, James Lee Burke and James W. Hall, as well as a superb exercise in riveting psychological suspense.” — The Providence Journal
“Dionne’s creativity is on display in her amazing imagining of the life of a child born to a mother held captive, and the child’s conflicted relationship with her abductor father. First‐rate plotting builds the tension with psychological suspense and action sequences. Chapters vary between present day and backstory, providing insight into the narrator’s character as an adult and as a child. The story is at once both horrific and fascinating.” — RT Book Reviews
“From page one on, The Marsh King’s Daughter features effortless storytelling, a deeply unsettling plot, and tight, twisting suspense. . . This gripping psychological thriller juxtaposes a sympathetic, relatable protagonist with top-shelf suspense that unfolds in the Michigan wilderness.” — iBooks, – Most Anticipated Summer Reads, Best of June, Best Books of the Year (so far) pick
“A psychological thriller of the highest level . . . a taut page turner that haunts the reader long after the last line is read.” — Shelf Awareness
“The way the story unfolds both captivates and disturbs. Dionne has written a book that invokes raw emotion mixed in with the turning of pages.” — Associated Press
“[W]ill keep readers gripped until the end … for fans of Emma Donoghue’s Room and of novels with strong female leads.” — Booklist
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Sensationally good psychological suspense – I loved this book.” — Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Jack Reacher series
“I was drawn into Karen Dionne’s The Marsh King’s Daughter from its first captivating sentences. Troubling, sinuous and powerfully told, you won’t be able to stop turning the pages.” — Megan Abbott, author of The Fever
“This gorgeously written eerie suspense novel gave me chills as it raced toward an unexpected climax. I loved it!” — Karin Slaughter, New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Girls
“If you only read one thriller this year, make it The Marsh King’s Daughter. It’s sensational . . . a truly stunning book.” — Clare Mackintosh, New York Times bestselling author of I Let You Go
“Eerie and breathtaking, terrific and terrifying in the best possible way. Karen Dionne holds you under her spell from the first word to the last—and then some.” – Téa Obreht, New York Times bestselling author of The Tiger’s Wife, National Book Award finalist, winner of the Orange Prize
“The Marsh King’s Daughter is a masterpiece of crisp prose and fine storytelling. Sinister and complex, this book’s twists and turns lead to a final confrontation so intense it will leave your heart pounding. The Marsh King’s Daughter is bound to become a classic. Read it.” — Sara Gruen, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants
“Expertly written, gripping, compulsively readable – The Marsh King’s Daughter is a stunner of a tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. Karen Dionne has created a world, a mood and a heroine that you won’t forget anytime soon.” — Melanie Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue
“Karen Dionne’s The Marsh King’s Daughter impressed me on so many levels that I’m dazed. I don’t use the word “brilliant” often, but no other adjective feels adequate to describe this amazing novel. Its plot immediately grabbed me, as did its palpably vivid details, its gripping tone, and its expert handling of an unusual, awe-inspiring structure. The brooding undertone of unease that reverberates from the pages kept me spellbound, and the ultimate violent cathartic confrontation literally made me gasp. It’s an understatement to say that The Marsh King’s Daughter is an exceptional achievement.” — David Morrell, author of First Blood and Murder as a Fine Art; creator of the iconic character “Rambo”
“Karen Dionne’s The Marsh King’s Daughter has everything I could ask for in a psychological thriller: a stunningly fresh and confident voice, gorgeous writing, originality, and a complex protagonist I could really root for. I wish it were possible to read a book for the first time more than once so I could have the joy of discovering it all over again. Readers will love this magnificent and compelling story!” — Carla Buckley, author of The Deepest Secret
“We are haunted by stories of girls imprisoned by feral misfits, and we wonder — did rescue come soon enough to save body and soul? What do they remember, and, if they remember everything, do they dare to sleep given what dreams might come? Karen Dionne’s terrifically realized new novel tells the story of the child born to such a girl and the strange, brooding survivalist who went to prison for kidnapping. When “the Marsh King” escapes from prison, his daughter, every inch her father’s child, prepares to meet him, this time on her turf. Don’t think you know how this plays out, just hand the reins to Dionne, who is completely in control of this unexpected narrative, and of your pounding heart.” — Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean