Thursday, July 31, 2014

ARC Review: The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

Title: The Good Girl
Author: Mary Kubica
Published: July 29, 2014 by Harlequin Mira
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Synopsis: "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 propulsive debut that reveals how even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems….

The problem with reviewing mysteries or thrillers is that it's incredibly difficult to give you any information about the book that will not give anything away. As a person who actually likes spoilers, it's even more difficult. I managed to do it, but bear with me because this will more than likely be a very short review. The one thing I will say is if you like these kinds of books (the cover compares it to Gillian Flynn and Tana French) then pick this book up, it's complex and interesting with dubious characters and an engrossing plot.

I think what struck me the most about this book was the complexity and creativity of it. It is told from the perspective of three different people at two different times. Our narrators include the mother of the woman who was kidnapped, the detective tasked with finding her, and the kidnapper. And we hear from them both before and after the kidnapping. This creates such a complex and layer stories. Most of the time these kinds of stories are just told from one perspective, usually the kidnapped or the detective. But because we got the mother's perspective we really got to understand the fear and confusion about having a person you love taken away from you. And because we got to spend some time in the head space of the kidnapper we get to understand why and how he was able to kidnap her. It was such and interesting concept.

And because we spend so much time with different people, it was easy to empathize with a wide range of characters including people you may not normally empathize with. When I was about half finished with the book my only thought was, "I'm not sure who's side I'm on." Mary Kubica did an excellent job of making not only want the detective to succeed but want the kidnapper to succeed as well. It was like the TV show The Wire in that way. Everyone is dubious, everyone is likable, and even though they are at odds with one another you want them all to win in the end. I wasn't sure how I wanted it to end but I knew either way it was going to be bitter sweet.

What I did miss a little bit from this book was the sense of mystery and investigation that you get a lot with these kinds of psycholigicalesque thrillers. While there was a small part of the book that allowed you to hunt for clues and solve something I wanted more. This book was more character-driven and about their relationships with Mia and one another than it was about solving a mystery. For me when I'm reading a thriller I want a good mystery to solve.

But that didn't make this book any less engrossing. I read it in a few a days and would find myself devouring whole chunks of the book before I even realized what was happening. And because I was so invested in the different characters success despite the fact that they couldn't all win, there was this desire throughout the book to get to the ending to see how it would all conclude, and that made it very enjoyable.

I give The Good Girl by Mary Kubica an 8 out of 10

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys thrillers in the vein of Gillian Flynn. Or if you are looking for a complex story with different characters that 

Have you read The Good Girl? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

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