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Karen Dionne Books In Order

Publication Order of Innocence Lost Books

The Killing (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Freezing Point (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Boiling Point (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Marsh King's Daughter (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Karen Dionne is an American author who is best known for her 2017 breakout novel “The Marsh King’s Daughter”. The novel that was a bestseller, was translated into more than 25 languages, and was named one of 2017s best thrillers by Library Journal. The novel was also received the Crimson Scribe Award, the top honor bestowed by “Suspense Magazine”. However, this was not her first time publishing as she already had three novels that had barely made any waves to her name. Prior to becoming a household name with her breakout novel, she had founded the Salt Cay Writers Retreat that held conventions in the Bahamas every alternate year, and established “Backspace” an online writers community. She is also an active member of International Thriller Writers. She received one of the highest honors as Humanities Scholar from the Michigan Humanities Council for founding Backspace, her writing, and her body of authorship. She lives with her husband in the northern suburbs of Detroit from where she writes her novels and enjoys photographing nature.

Karen Dionne’s debut novel was “Freezing Point” that was first published in 2008 and was followed by the similarly themed survival novel “Boiling Point” in 2010. The novels were published in mass paperback but never got much traction for well over four years. With her career flagging, she decided to focus on helping aspiring writer publish their novels. This is the time she founded her online community of writer Backspace and the Bahamas retreat. However, it was during one of her Backspace conferences that she came to realize that she was made to be an author and not a conference organizer that had given up on her dreams. Given that she had helped several authors publish their novels through her conference, she knew she had to get back to writing. Not long after, an idea about what later turn to be the blockbuster novel “The Marsh King’s Daughter” came to her in a dream. She kept hearing the voice of her character even when she woke up the following day and for several weeks until she started writing the novel.

Most of Karen Dionne’s novels are drawn from her experiences homesteading as part of the “back to the land movement”, that saw her go back to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Before then, Dionne and her husband had been city people that knew nothing about living off the land though they had always admired nature. With ten acres of hardwoods to their name and a six-week-old daughter, they moved into a tent for several weeks while they built a small cabin, sampled wild fruits and food, and got their water from the stream. Her experience living in the wild for more than three decades is the inspiration for her breakout novel and her previous survival novels “Boiling Point” and “Freezing Point”. She drew on the wild and beautiful nature of the Upper Peninsula to write “The Marsh King’s Daughter” that she published in 2017 that she calls a love letter to the UP. She also drew a lot of inspiration from her childhood reading where she was a connoisseur for anything fairy tale. In fact, she always loved fairy tales with darker themes that had something of the modern such as “The Snow Child” by Eowyn Ivey. In fact, when she was writing her novels she pulls out some of her childhood fairy tales to find anything that would add some structure or character to her plots and characters. As such, characters such as Helena portray Christian Andersen’s a dualistic character in being half bad, half good, and both monster and innocent, just like the Marsh Kings Daughter.

“The Marsh King’s Daughter” is an enticing narrative of a woman forced to risk everything on a quest to find a dangerous man. The man happens to be her father that had robbed her of her childhood, forged her present, and is threatening to steal her future. Helena Pelletier loves to believe that she has one of the most awesome of lives with a great business to occupy her days, two beautiful daughters, and a loving husband. But what she has never told her family, leave alone friends is that she was conceived from an abduction. As a teenager, her mother was the victim of a kidnapper that had kept her locked up in the marshlands, where he had a secret cabin. Helena came into the world two years after her mother was kidnapped. Since it was the place of her birth, she so loved it and even loved her sometimes brutal father since she had no other point of reference. However, she came to despise the man as she grew older and he grew even more brutal. Two decades after her ordeal, her past is so far in the rear view mirror that even her husband is unaware of what she had gone through. But news reaching her tell of her father going on a rampage, killing two guards, escaping from prison, and runmimg to hide in the familiar marshes. The police launch a massive manhunt but given his knowledge of the marshes, Helena believes it is an exercise in futility. If there is a person that could track down the man, it has to be someone that had been trained by him – his daughter Helena.

“Freezing Point” is an exciting eco thriller that made Karen Dionne be labelled the next Michael Crichton. The lead protagonist in the narrative is Ben, an environmentalist with a multinational corporation working in the Antarctic to harvest water for Americans before all the poles melt. The company is making use of highly focused beams of microwave energy from satellites, which are then used to melt giant glaciers before the now fresh liquefied water is transported to the United States and Canada. For Ben, he would have loved to use the water to better the lives of the masses in the third world even as the higher ups in the company think of nothing, but the massive profits they can get by getting the fresh water to the moneyed Americans. The novel thus happens for the most part in the dry Antarctic landscape where Ben and the men that work under him survive with the only contact being another group of scientists not of their corporation working about 50km away from them. The Antarctic is soon infested with man eating rats that start attacking the scientists coupled with a mysterious illness that threatens to wipe out Ben’s team.

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