ISBN The Marsh King’s Daughter
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"Brilliant....About as good as a thriller can be."--The New York Times Book Review
"[A] nail-biter perfect for Room fans."--Cosmopolitan
"Sensationally good psychological suspense."--Lee Child
Praised by Karin Slaughter and Megan Abbott, The Marsh King's Daughter is the mesmerizing tale of a woman who must risk everything to hunt down the dangerous man who shaped her past and threatens to steal her future: her father.
Helena Pelletier has a loving husband, two beautiful daughters, and a business that fills her days. But she also has a secret: she is the product of an abduction. Her mother was kidnapped as a teenager by her father and kept in a remote cabin in the marshlands of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Helena, born two years after the abduction, loved her home in nature, and despite her father's sometimes brutal behavior, she loved him, too...until she learned precisely how savage he could be.
More than twenty years later, she has buried her past so soundly that even her husband doesn't know the truth. But now her father has killed two guards, escaped from prison, and disappeared into the marsh. The police begin a manhunt, but Helena knows they don't stand a chance. Knows that only one person has the skills to find the survivalist the world calls the Marsh King--because only one person was ever trained by him: his daughter.
Wait here, I tell my three-year-old. I lean through the truck s open window to fish between her booster seat and the passenger door for the plastic sippy cup of lukewarm orange juice she threw in a fit of frustration. Mommy will be right back.
Mari reaches for the cup like Pavlov s puppy. Her bottom lip pokes out and tears overflow. I get it. She s tired. So am I.
Uh-uh-uh, Mari grunts as I start to walk away. She arches her back and pushes against the seat belt as if it s a straitjacket.
Stay put, I ll be right back. I narrow my eyes and shake my finger so she knows I mean business and go around to the back of the truck. I wave at the kid stacking boxes on the loading dock by the delivery entrance to Markham s Jason, I think is his name then lower the tailgate to grab the first two boxes of my own.
Hi, Mrs. Pelletier! Jason returns my wave with twice the enthusiasm I gave him. I lift my hand again so we re even. I ve given up telling him to call me Helena.
Bang-bang-bang from inside the truck. Mari is whacking her juice cup against the window ledge. I m guessing it s empty. I bang the flat of my hand against the truck bed in response bang-bang-bang and Mari startles and twists around, her baby-fine hair whipping across her face like corn silk. I give her my best cut it out if you know what s good for you scowl, then heft the cartons to my shoulder. Stephen and I both have brown hair and eyes, as does our five-year-old, Iris, so he marveled over this rare golden child we created until I told him my mother was a blonde. That s all he knows.
Markham s is the next-to-last delivery of four, and the primary sales outlet for my jams and jellies, aside from the orders I pick up online. Tourists who shop at Markham s Grocery like the idea that my products are locally made. I m told a lot of customers purchase several jars to take home as gifts and souvenirs. I tie gingham fabric circles over the lids with butcher s string and color-code them according to contents: red for raspberry jam, purple for elderberry, blue for blueberry, green for cattail-blueberry jelly, yellow for dandelion, pink for wild apple chokecherry you get the idea. I think the covers look silly, but people seem to like them. And if I m going to get by in an area as economically depressed as the Upper Peninsula, I have to give people what they want. It s not rocket science.
There are a lot of wild foods I could use and a lot of different ways to fix them, but for now I m sticking with jams and jellies. Every business needs a focus. My trademark is the cattail line drawing I put on every label. I m pretty sure I m the only person who mixes ground cattail root with blueberries to make jelly. I don t add much, just enough to justify including cattail in the name. When I was growing up, young cattail spikes were my favorite vegetable. They still are. Every spring I toss my waders and a wicker basket in the back of my pickup and head for the marshes south of our place. Stephen and the girls won t touch them, but Stephen doesn t care if I cook them as long as I fix just enough for me. Boil the heads for a few minutes in salted water and you have one of the finest vegetables around. The texture is a little dry and mealy, so I eat mine with butter now, but of course, butter was nothing I d tasted when I was a child.
Blueberries I pick in the logged-over areas south of our place. Some years the blueberry crop is better than others. Blueberries like a lot of sun. Indians used to set fire to the underbrush to improve the yield. I ll admit, I ve been tempted. I m not the only person out on the plains during blueberry s
This gorgeously written eerie suspense novel gave me chills as it raced toward an unexpected climax. I loved it! Karin Slaughter, author of Pretty Girls
Troubling, sinuous and powerfully told, you won t be able to stop turning the pages. Megan Abbott, author of You Will Know Me
Dionne s breathtaking psychological thriller is a fairy tale writ large...the suspense in the plotting and the cold distance Helena s voice projects [hold readers] entranced until the stunning climax. Minneapolis Star Tribune
Exceptional...Helena s conflicting emotions about her father and her own identity elevate this powerful story. Publishers Weekly (starred review)
If you only read one thriller this year, make it The Marsh King s Daughter. It s sensational. Clare Mackintosh, author of I Let You Go
A masterpiece of crisp prose and fine storytelling. Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants and At the Water's Edge
[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
[W]ill keep readers gripped until the end...For fans of Emma Donoghue s Room and of novels with strong female leads. Booklist
Expertly written, gripping, compulsively readable. Melanie Benjamin, author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue
Eerie and breathtaking, terrific and terrifying in the best possible way. Dionne holds you under her spell from the first word to the last and then some. Tea Obreht, author of The Tiger s Wife
First rate plotting builds the tension with psychological suspense and action sequences .The story is at once both horrific and fascinating. RT Book Reviews
Totally compelling and different from anything I can remember reading before. Peter Lovesey
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
I don t use the word brilliant often, but no other adjective feels adequate...It s an understatement to say that The Marsh King s Daughter is an exceptional achievement. David Morrell, author of Murder as a Fine Art; creator of the iconic character Rambo
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. Carla Buckley, author of The Deepest Secret