Friday, July 25, 2014

The Good Girl

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
Harlequin: 7/29/2014
eBook, 352 pages
ISBN-13: 9780778316558

"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.
My Thoughts:

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica is a highly recommended debut suspense/mystery novel.
In The Good Girl Mia Dennett, a 24 year old art teacher in Chicago has disappeared. Detective Gabe Hoffman is assigned the case.  Mia is from a wealthy, privileged background. Her arrogant father is a prominent judge who thinks Mia is simple off somewhere being irresponsible, while her mother, Eve, is truly worried about her missing daughter. Mia was supposed to meet her boyfriend for drinks after work, but he bails on her and instead she meets Colin at the bar. Colin, unknown to Mia, has been paid to abduct her and deliver her to the man who is paying him as part of a bigger extortion plot.

On his way to drop Mia off, Colin has second thoughts and instead drives off to an isolated cabin that he knows will be vacant, and keeps Mia captive there in an attempt to protect her. Eve is desperately concerned about her daughter while her husband seems less interested in finding her. Gabe works tirelessly to uncover the clues about her abductor, but he also feels a growing a growing attraction to Eve and tries to stop in to see her as much as possible.
The Good Girl is narrated through the voices of three characters: Eve, Mia’s mother; Colin, her abductor; and Gabe, the detective. The actual story alternates between these voices and between the past and the present. We know that Mia survives, calls herself Chloe after the abduction, and has a form of amnesia, but you have to read through all the accounts of what happened to actually get the complete picture.

Don't let the fact that this is a debut novel dissuade you from reading The Good Girl. It is an extremely well written character-driven plot that is very readable. This is a good choice for someone who likes suspense novels but can do without a lot of sex, violence, or language. Naturally, there is a twist at the end. Some readers may have guessed it before the truth is revealed, but others will be surprised.

Now, apparently the narrative is labeled either "before" or "after" in the chapters. This was not the case in my advanced reading copy where everything was presented as one long book with no division. This resulted in a lot of confusion with the abrupt switches in who was talking until I figured out what was going on. I would expect that having the chapters labeled when the action was taking place might have increased my reading enjoyment; however it did serve to highlight the fact that the voices of the characters were very similar, rather than unique.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of
Harlequin via Netgalley for review purposes.


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