Publishing Info: July 29, 2014 by Harlequin
Genres: Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: March 13, 2016
Related Posts: Pretty Baby, Don't You Cry
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.
I had been hearing about THE GOOD GIRL and Mary Kubica’s books for a while now (I still remember those giant banners from BEA 2014!) and when this audiobook was on sale through Audible, I knew I couldn’t pass it up. I didn’t know what I was in the mood for when choosing a new audiobook one day and I’m always in the mood for a mystery/thriller so I decided to start this one!
I really wasn’t sure what to expect from THE GOOD GIRL. I didn’t know if it was supposed to be another GONE GIRL (I feel like I had heard some comparison like that somewhere along the way) or if it was more mystery or if there was any sort of twist at all. In a way, that was a good thing because I had a few less expectations and I was able to just read (listen to) the book without trying to push it on a certain path. It was also a bit of a bad thing at times because I really wasn’t sure what the point of the book was. I felt engaged the whole time but I started to expect a twist somewhere because while the action was moving forward, I wasn’t quite sure what the end goal was to this story and why it needed to be told. (Not that I didn’t think there was a purpose — I just wasn’t sure what it was!)
THE GOOD GIRL has alternative POVs but it also has alternating timelines with each POV as well — there will be a POV switch and a time frame switch from before Mia was abducted to after. I thought this was really interesting and it really made for a well-rounded story while still leaving big clues out since the perspectives are from Mia’s mother, the detective working the case, and interestingly enough, Mia’s abductor and not Mia. The reader is able to follow the mystery along since Mia is suffering from selective amnesia and PTSD following her kidnapping and return home.
I was actually incredibly interested in Colin, the guy who was hired to kidnap Mia. I thought it was super interesting to get POV chapters from him instead of Mia that detailed how the kidnapping went down and how his decisions really affected the story. I ended up finding myself feeling quite sympathetic towards him and enjoying his POV and I wasn’t sure at first if I was supposed to. As the book goes on, the reader discovers exactly how big his role is in Mia’s story and why it’s important for him to have POV chapters and not Mia.
I was both happy with and a little disappointed by the ending. There’s a little piece of information that really brings the whole book together and made me say, “AH. There it is.” I was glad that everything really came together and that nugget of information really brought that “point” of the book to light and explained why this story was so important. The reason I was a little disappointed was because this happened literally right at the end. It was the very last chapter of the book so I was getting ready to say, “Okay, nice story but meh” so at least that really did tie everything together! I guess I was also hoping for something more… sinister? I can’t help it — as much as I hate Amy Dunne characters because they’re awful people, it’s so incredibly fascinating to watch that trainwreck go down. I will say this is not a light read and it has its dark moments but it doesn’t have that flash of legitimate antisocial personality disorder like GONE GIRL does and in a way, I was hoping for it because such bad behavior just makes those shocking moments all the more shocking!
THE GOOD GIRL was a good read and I’ll probably pick up another Mary Kubica book but it wasn’t as thrilling as I had hoped. The moments in between the action were a bit slow for me, especially the chapters with Mia’s mother because I just didn’t care as much about her backstory or personal life. I’m interested to pick up other Mary Kubica books but I’m also hoping for a bit more of a twist!
Produced by: Blackstone Audio
Honestly, I was totally surprised to hear Lindy Nettleton kick off the story… with a British accent. The book takes place in the Chicagoland area so I didn’t understand at first but then we do find out that she’s from the UK and moved here when she was a teenager but still has a strong accent. It really wasn’t all that appealing to me since it seemed out of place in a Chicago atmosphere even though I know it was actually accurate.
I really enjoyed Colin’s POV (narrated by Tom Taylorson, who also narrates in PRETTY BABY which is good news for me if I pick up the audio for that book too) and his voice was really enjoyable to listen to. I think that’s also why I ended up being sympathetic towards him — an audiobook’s narrator really affects how I feel towards a particular character!
It was a bit awkward to hear exchanges between Eve and Gabe (Nettleton and Heller) because their voices are just so different that I just feel like they were hard to capture from the other person’s POV. I felt like Nettleton didn’t do a very good American accept and Heller didn’t do the best British accent but things like that don’t usually bother me too much unless they don’t seem to be trying at all.
Overall, the narration was pretty good with Taylorson being my favorite narrator of the bunch and I’d actively seek out other books narrated by him! I will probably not listen to something with Nettleton’s narration again unless it’s a favorite author.
“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!
Eve // Character Obsessions: Mia’s case, family, appearances
Eve was sort of a weird character for me. She loves her family and yet they’re still quite distant. She keeps up with appearances and yet she’s not overly focused on status. She sort of floats somewhere in the middle where you know she comes from money and maybe wasn’t the best mother but she’s not a horrible person. I ended up feeling pretty ambivalent about her but I didn’t really like her overall character either.
Colin // Character Obsessions: Survival, money, taking care of business
I ended up being really sympathetic towards Colin. He’s the antagonist here and yet I found myself rooting for him more and more. His voice felt genuine and you could tell he was just in a hard spot, had a hard life growing up, and was doing these things for the money and to help his mother. That’s not an excusable reason to kidnap someone but that’s also a part of why the story went the way it did.
Kept Me Hooked On: Adult thrillers. I don’t really too many adult age-range novels anymore since I’m heavy into YA but it’s refreshing to pick up something different every once in a while!
Left Me Wanting More: Twist. There was a little twist but it came so late that a bit of disappointment had already set in.
I did enjoy this one! Not my all-time favorite and probably other go-to recs before this one but it was a solid, well put-together book and I’m sure I’ll read more Mary Kubica in the future!
BOOKS LIKE THE GOOD GIRL
(Click the cover to see my review!)