Review: The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

Review: The Good Girl by Mary KubicaThe Good Girl by Mary Kubica
Amazon|The Book Depository
Pages: 352
Published by Harlequin MIRA on July 29th 2014
Genres: Mystery/Thriller

I've been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she works. I don't know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she's scared. But I will.
One night, Mia Dennett enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn't show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. 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.
When Colin decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota instead of delivering her to his employers, 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 propulsive debut that reveals how even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems.


First, let me say that The Good Girl is not another Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train. If anything, Kubica’s debut novel is an excellent read and one I found more compelling than either of the books mentioned above. While I understand the marketing technique invoked in the comparison don’t be fooled if you weren’t a fan of either like me.

The story follows the events leading up to, during and after the kidnapping of Mia Dennett. The Good Girl is told from the perspective of three major players – Mia’s mother Eve, the investigating officer Gabe, and the kidnapper Colin, and in two distinct timelines: the “Before” and “After”. Each story unfolds to reveal a complex and emotional journey.

I read a lot of complaints about the three point-of-view strategy, but I think it worked well to enhance the mystery about what happened to Mia during and after the kidnapping. Not only do we witness Mia’s emotional journey through the eyes of those closest to the case but we are able to witness each characters journey, both before and after the kidnapping. My favorite chapters often involved Colin, who comes off brutish (after all he does kidnap Mia) but transforms into a far more caring character towards the end, even though he maintains his gruff and calculating persona throughout most of the novel.

Probably the only aspect I didn’t like was the twist. Going in I knew (thanks to the numerous comparisons to Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train) the direction the story was going in. If you read either then you can probably guess where the story is going, but if anything the twist makes you relive the book and its events with a strange clarity. No spoilers but perhaps the most rewarding aspect was going over the events with the twist and mind and realizing the true nature of certain characters.

Recommended to those who like a good slow-burn thriller/mystery.

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