Book 273: THE GOOD GIRL Review

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
ISBN: 9780778316558 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781488710452 (ebook)
ASIN: B00IB5BSBG (Kindle edition)

Publication date: July 29, 2014

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA

“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 addictively 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. . .

If you were to meet Mia Dennett in person you wouldn’t think she came from wealth, but she does. For most of her life Mia has rebelled against her parents and their version of acceptable society. She was the proverbial wild-child and went against her father’s wishes and studied art in college rather than law. As a young twenty-something teacher, Mia has made a life for herself outside the society group she rebelled against. She has limited contact with her parents and is admired by her students and fellow teachers. When Mia doesn’t show up at school for a few days it is her school teacher friend that launches a missing person report, not her parents. Police detective Gabe Hoffman has to literally fight with the Dennett family to prove to them that she did not run away from her responsibilities but may, in fact, have been abducted. The question becomes can Mia be found before it’s too late? Who wanted Mia taken out of the picture and why?

Mary Kubica does an admirable job answering those questions and presenting a view of Mia before, during, and after her abduction. The Mia from before was rather free-spirited but always made sure her students had what they needed. Mia isn’t an irresponsible adult, just a nonconformist. During the abduction she alternates between being subdued, frightened, and angry. Mia after the abduction comes across as fragile and epitomizes the “good girl” daughter her parents always wanted. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I read comparisons between The Good Girl and Gone Girl (usually these comparisons set the reader up for disappointment – this time it didn’t). Yes both stories are thrillers. Yes both stories explore the darker side of humanity. And yes, both stories have an unexpected twist at the end, but those similarities are superficial at best. The Good Girl is simply a darn good read, as was Gone Girl. The characters are multidimensional, realistically flawed, and wholly believable. There are good guys, not so good guys, and bad guys and sometimes it may be difficult to tell who’s a good guy and who’s bad. (Trust me you’ll understand and be able to figure it out while you’re reading the story.) I liked the unexpected twist at the end and never could have predicted it (No! I’m not telling you what the twist is in the story . . . read it!). If you enjoy mystery-suspense thrillers or just want to read a good book then I you’ll definitely want to add The Good Girl to your reading list.

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Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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