Review: The Good Girl

September 8, 2014 abduction, book review, debut novel, family, Harlequin MIRA, Mary Kubica 6

The Good Girl
  • Written By: Mary Kubica
  • Published By:  Harlequin MIRA, July 29, 2014
  • Length: 352 pages
  • Source:  Publisher

Summary:  “I’ve been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I don’t know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she’s scared. But I will.”

Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn’t show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. With his smooth moves and modest wit, at first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia’s life.

Colin’s job was to abduct Mia as part of a wild extortion plot and deliver her to his employers. But the plan takes an unexpected turn when Colin suddenly decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota, evading the police and his deadly superiors. Mia’s mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them, but no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family’s world to shatter.

An additively suspenseful and tautly written thriller, The Good Girl is a compulsive debut that reveals how even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems….

My Thoughts:  What a wild ride debut novelist Mary Kubica takes her readers on! This book was the one I was reading as I entered the hospital for my knee replacement surgery, and unfortunately I would fall asleep every time I tried to read for a couple of weeks.  It wasn’t the book, it was the medications.  When I completed the book in later August I was speechless.

Mia is the rebellious off the beaten track daughter of a prominent judge, her father has never approved of her chosen path.  His power is evident in the way we view his actions with his wife and other daughter.  Mia’s mother Eve is full of self hatred for the way she has let the mother-daughter relationship languish.

The book is written in alternating chapters in the voices of Eve, Mia’s mother, Colin her abductor and Gabe the detective trying to locate Eve. These voices give us a look into each of their motivations and past.  Perhaps the most mysterious is Colin.  While he’s always been a loner and a deviant type it’s surprising when he decides to keep Mia and hide her away.  He goes to great length to achieve this.  I kept asking myself what was driving him, there was no ransom or reward, no payoff.  His reasons are surprising,and yet just human nature…you’ll need to read to understand.

The book isn’t in chronological order, it’s told in Before and Afters, which the reader quickly realizes is the before Mia is rescued and after. The choice to jump around is brilliant as the reader learns things in a jumbled format, but it kept me reading, and wondering, and flipping back a few times.  The last chapter is told in Mia’s voice, an epilogue.  I found it interesting we hear so much about her from the point of view of her mom, Colin and Gabe.  It becomes clear that no one really knows Mia.

The story line of an abductor and his captive developing an attraction may have been done before, but I assure you that Mary Kubica has given us look into something bizarre and yet tender.  Her relationships in this book are shocking and some taboo, but you’ll cheer for the chance some characters finally have to find caring.

I highly recommend The Good Girl, and I look forward to more from Mary Kubica.

6 Responses to “Review: The Good Girl”

  1. sandynawrot

    I just requested this one on audio from the library. It seems like something right up my alley!

  2. DoingDewey

    I really like books that jump back and forth between two time points, each giving you hints about the other. I find that it’s a format which can really hook me and make a book very exciting to read 🙂

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