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On the Savage Side

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781399606103

Price: £9.99

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Six women – mothers, daughters, sisters – gone missing.

Inspired by the unsolved murders of the Chillicothe Six, this is the story of two sisters, both of whom could be the next victims.

Arcade and Daffodil are twin sisters born one minute apart. With their fiery red hair and thirst for an escape, they form an unbreakable bond nurtured by their grandmother’s stories. Together they disappear into their imagination and forge a world where a patch of grass reveals an archaeologist’s dig, the smoke emerging from the local paper mill becomes the dust rising from wild horses galloping deep beneath the earth, and an abandoned 1950s convertible transforms into a time machine that can take them anywhere.

But no matter how hard they try, Arc and Daffy can’t escape the generational ghosts that haunt their family. And so, left to fend for themselves in the shadow of their rural Ohio town, the two sisters cling tight to one another.

Years later, as the sisters wrestle with the memories of their early life, a local woman is discovered dead in the river. Soon, more bodies are left floating in the water, and as the killer circles ever closer, Arc’s promise to keep herself and her sister safe becomes increasingly desperate – and the powerful riptide of the savage side more difficult to survive.

Drawing from the true story of women killed in Chillicothe, Ohio, acclaimed novelist and poet Tiffany McDaniel has written a moving literary testament and fearless elegy for missing women everywhere.

‘A coming-of-age story filled with magic in language and plot’ Observer
‘Breahtaking’ Vogue
‘I felt consumed by this book. I loved it, you will love it’ Daisy Johnson
‘A page-turning Appalachian coming-of-age story told in undulating prose that settles right into you’ Naoise Dolan
‘Vivid and lucid, Betty has stayed with me’ Kiran Millwood Hargrave


Inspired by a true crime story, Tiffany McDaniel has written a novel of the highest literary merits, a book about the bonds of family, community, and the consequences of those bonds failing us. It is a story that speaks to America's current moral disorientation, and then transcends it.
Elliot Ackerman, author of DARK AT THE CROSSING
Unapologetically beautiful . . . McDaniel combines unflinching realism with otherworldly fairy-tale lyricism to powerfully redemptive effect in this slow-burning reckoning with America's exploding drugs nightmare
Daily Mail
Eye-opening, chilling and yet compassionate, On the Savage Side is a disturbing and insightful re-imagining of a true-life crime story.
Dan Chaon, author of ILL WILL
Tiffany McDaniel spins an elaborate, glittering web of brutality and childlike innocence. On the Savage Side lays bare the cruel devolution of addiction, and the way it clings to a family, dragging them into poverty and desperate acts. This book will leave you breathless, heartbroken, and agape at how beauty persists in the midst of tragedy.
An evocative and deeply moving story
Irish Times
Tiffany McDaniel's characters will break a reader's heart with their longing and vulnerable loves. "A trio of women who could have been queens in a different parade," they tell stories of an America that deserves a closer look, from a writer who delineates their lives with tenderness.
Susan Straight, author of HIGHWIRE MOON
In On the Savage Side, Tiffany McDaniel paints a portrait of addiction that is honest and unapologetically brutal, yet her twin protagonists are never defined solely by their struggles. Instead they are artists and swimmers, archeologists and poets, searching for the smallest glints of hope in a world where their love for each other is the only constant. Dedicated to the memory of six women who disappeared or were killed in Chillicothe, Ohio, the novel asks pressing questions about why society deems some injustices tragic and others merely inconvenient. If only all women whose suffering has been ignored could have an artist as gifted as McDaniel to give their eulogy.
Anjali Sachdeva, author of ALL THE NAMES THEY USED FOR GOD
A brilliant and beautifully written book about a stark and terrible world, On the Savage Side brings a sense of humanity to the ravages of addiction. This book is as important as it is timely.
Garth Stein, author of THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN
Striking, ethereal and transcendent
New York Times