Friday, 11 August 2017

The Marsh King's Daughter by Karen Dionne

The Marsh King's Daughter
By Karen Dionne
Published by Sphere (13 June 2017)

Publisher's description
'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. 

My verdict
I loved The Marsh King's Daughter from the first page. It hooked me in straight away and I couldn't put it down. I read most of it in one sitting - being reluctant to leave the house and socialise until I finished it. I ended up reading it late into the evening, realising I wouldn't sleep until I knew the full story. Not many books recently have had such an impact on me.

This is the story of Helena, a girl born in captivity after her father abducted her mother, who was a young teenager at the time. Now Helena is an adult with a family of her own. When her father escapes from prison, Helena suspects he's coming for her - and decides to turn the tables on him, knowing him better than anyone else.

This book is certainly a fast-paced read, with beautifully flowing writing. It's very visual too, with chilling descriptions of the marshland setting. I love Helena - she's a fantastic gutsy lead character, a mother determined to do whatever she can to protect her family. As for the underlying plot - wow! This may be a child abduction novel, but it's certainly in a league of its own.

The Marsh King's Daughter is totally different from anything else around at present - a breath of fresh air, although it's very very dark and haunting. A book that's difficult to forget. I urge everyone to buy it and read it! I just wish I hadn't left it on my reading pile for quite so long.

Highly recommended!

I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

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