By Karen Dionne
Published by Sphere (13 June 2017)
'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.
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.
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher via NetGalley.