When nearly one hundred members of The Ark, a sinister apocalypse cult are found dead by poison at their isolated community in North Wales, those left alive are scattered to the winds with few coping skills and fewer answers. For twenty-three-year-old Romy, who has never known life outside the compound, learning how to live in a world she has been taught to fear is terrifying.
... opens in spectacular fashion ... This author has a nifty way of capturing the essence of current headline-making trends and harnessing it into a first-rate psychological thriller. We’re never quite sure of warrior-queen-cum-earth-mother Romy, her motivations and thought processes, and because of that unease, Marwood keeps us on tenterhooks throughout. Even solid, staid Sarah has the capacity to shock, and the story arc allocated to Eden and Ilo is on a par with any Brothers Grimm fairy tale ... a cleverly-wrought evocation of the world we live in today, with all its faults and foibles. The subject matter could have made for depressingly dark reading, but instead we are offered moments of light and even a chink or two of hope. This is a haunting book by an author who is always happy to plough her own furrow. Long may it continue!
An extraordinary novel of psychological suspense that is more wicked than Marwood’s Edgar-winning Wicked Girls (2013) and darker than her Macavity-winning The Killer Next Door (2014) ... Two of Marwood’s novels have already been optioned for film, and this one would make an eerie docudrama that could rival The Blair Witch Project.
... gripping, creepy ... Marwood’s extreme sense of place makes both contemporary Britain and the Ark seem both appealing and appalling sites to live. Both places can easily be considered a poison garden, depending on a person’s perception as Marwood parallels life at the Ark and the stifling, unforgiving home rules by religious fervor in which Sarah and Somer had been raised ... Marwood again shows a mastery at creating new worlds.