8 Books Like The Marsh King’s Daughter

Revel in these dark and twisted reads.  

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  • Photo Credit: Featured still from "The Marsh King's Daughter" via Lionsgate

This month sees the release of The Marsh King's Daughter, a psychological thriller starring Daisy Ridley and Ben Mendelsohn. Based on the bestselling novel by Karen Dionne, this dark story follows Helena, a loving wife and mother whose past is mired in pain. Two years before she was born, a brutish man known as the Marsh King abducted her mother and she spent her childhood in captivity, kept in a ramshackle cabin in the marshlands of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. 

More than twenty years later, Helena has buried her past, but now her father has escaped from prison and she fears he may come back for her and her children. In order to outsmart him, Helena must use all the survivalist skills her father taught her and delve back into the wilderness.

For fans of the book and movie, here are eight thrillers akin to The Marsh King’s Daughter.

Wild Life

Wild Life

By Liam Brown

Adam is an advertising salesman with a whole load of emotional baggage weighing him down. When he loses his job, he's forced to abandon his family to flee the debtors who will do anything to get their money back. He spends months sleeping rough in a local park, befriended by a community of homeless men who have all experienced dark times. 

As the months pass, Adam gradually learns to appreciate the tough new regime, until winter arrives early, threatening to turn his paradise into a nightmare. It's time for him to go home and face his demons, but his new friends have other plans for him…



By Chandra Prasad

In the wake of crash-landing on a deserted tropical island, a group of private-school teens are forced to find a way to survive until help arrives. For Samantha Mishra, injured and already isolated from her classmates, being in the thick of the jungle is a struggle. She has no idea where she is or where anybody else is. 

Once she connects with her best friend, Mel, and they locate the others, they set up camp and hope for rescue. Days pass, turning into weeks, and there's no salvation in sight. But there is something out there, a mysterious presence who taunts and threatens them. They must wait, escape, or fight back. And that's assuming they don't kill one another first.


The Hunt

By Jack Cashill and Mike McMullen

Tony Acero, a Mexican-American veteran of four combat tours, is a true man of the wild. That's not the case for his 13-year-old son Luke, who is undersized for his age and struggling at his new prep school. To save the young teen from his downward spiral, and to cheer up older brother Matt, Tony proposes to take both sons on a confidence-building elk hunt in Colorado. 

Thousands of miles away, brothers Pel and Moom Adams are planning their own trip to the state. Radical anarchists, the brothers have contracted with a trio of hardened Chechen terrorists to carry out a plot that will devastate the country: they're going to shoot the President's plane out of the sky as it descends into Aspen for the G-8 summit. The two parties collide in a remote Colorado valley, and not everyone will leave the chasm alive.

The Island of Last Truth

The Island of Last Truth

By Flavia Company

At a swanky New York party, a man turns up, rumored to be a mysterious doctor named Matthew Prendel. Legend has it that he was shipwrecked for many years after his boat was attacked by pirates. 

He survived but his entire crew perished, and then he found himself embroiled in a ferocious fight for survival between two castaways on a desert island. At least, that's how the story goes. What actually happened when Dr. Prendel disappeared for five whole years? 


None of This Is True

By Lisa Jewell

Alix Summers is a podcaster celebrating her 45th birthday when in walks an unassuming woman named Josie Fair. Josie, it turns out, is also celebrating her 45th birthday. A few days later, Alix and Josie bump into each other again, this time outside Alix’s children’s school. Josie has been listening to Alix’s podcasts and suggests herself as an interesting subject for her series. 

Slowly she starts to realize that Josie has been hiding some very dark secrets, and before she knows it, Josie has inveigled her way into Alix’s life—and into her home. But, as quickly as she arrived, Josie disappears. Only then does Alix discover that Josie has left a terrible and terrifying legacy in her wake. Now, Alix is the subject of her own investigation and her family's lives are on the line if she doesn't figure out the case of Josie Fair.


The Drowning Woman

By Robyn Harding

Lee Gulliver never thought she’d find herself living on the streets, but when her restaurant fails, and she falls deeper into debt, she leaves her old life behind with nothing but her clothes and her Toyota Corolla. In Seattle, she parks in a secluded spot by the beach to lay low, but the next morning, she sees a sobbing woman throw herself into the ocean. 

Lee saves her, but is met with anger, as Hazel, the drowning woman, tells her why she wanted to die. She's trapped in a toxic, abusive marriage and is a prisoner in her own home. This was her last chance at escape, until Lee came along. Now, things are different. Hazel wants Lee to help her disappear.


The House in the Pines

By Ana Reyes

Maya was a high school senior when her best friend, Aubrey, mysteriously dropped dead in front of the enigmatic man named Frank whom they'd been spending time with all summer. Seven years later, Maya lives in Boston, trying to live a normal life while plagued by a secret addiction that has become her emotional crutch. She has too many gaps in her memory to recall what happened to Aubrey, but her past comes rushing back when she watches a recent YouTube video. To her horror, the video shows a young woman who suddenly keels over and dies in a diner while sitting across from Frank. 

Now, she must head back to her Berkshires hometown to relive that fateful summer and uncover the mystery of Frank, who once consumed her adolescence and still holds power over her.


Good Bad Girl

By Alice Feeney

Twenty years after a baby is stolen from a stroller, a woman is murdered in a care home. The two crimes are somehow linked, and the only person who can discover the truth is stuck in a nursing home. 

Eighty years young, Edith is planning on escaping from this place where she was tricked into living. Patience, one of the staff, seems like a strong ally, but Patience is lying to Edith about almost everything. Edith’s own daughter, Clio, won’t speak to her, and now she's about to face her own troubles. The trio have every reason to distrust one another, but they must solve the mystery. What happened to the baby who disappeared, the mother who lost her, and the murdered woman who binds them together?