This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Kate Appleton
“I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I don’t know the colour of her eyes or what they look like when they’re scared. But I will.” Mia Dennett cannot resist going home with the enigmatic stranger she meets one night in a bar. But going home with him might turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia’s life. The Good Girl reveals how, even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems.
While reading reviews of this book, I noticed many drew parallels with Gone Girl. Having not read that novel I couldn’t comment, but I can say I will be reading it now. The Good Girl is a great debut from author Mary Kubica, written in a unique style from the viewpoints of Mia’s mother, her kidnapper and the detective in charge of her case. It jumps easily and smoothly between ‘before’ and ‘after’ the kidnap to present a fast-paced and tightly woven story building to a climax and a startling revelation.
It’s difficult to say much more about this style of book without accidentally ruining it for other readers. Due to the ‘before’ and ‘after’ time jumps, I can safely say that Mia survives the kidnapping, but that’s not the important detail; it’s what happens in the log cabin in the wilderness of Minnesota that draws you in to the lives of Mia and her kidnapper, Owen.Mia’s father is a self-important man. He is a highly respected and well-known judge who’s domineering attitude towards both Mia and her mother is arrogant and severely dislikable. In the ‘after’ sections there are some upsetting scenes and I found myself angrily talking back to his character – something that drew glances on my morning commute. It should be noted that Mia's sister Grace is cut from the same cloth as her father, so be warned you may find yourself tutting quite loudly yourself.
Overall, this was a surprisingly intense and emotional thriller from a debut novelist where you find yourself supporting the most unlikely of characters.