I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
Published by Harlequin MIRA on July 29th 2014
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
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"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….
“I’ve been following her for the last few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I’ve never spoken to her. I wouldn’t recognize the sound of her voice. I don’t know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she’s scared. But I will.”
Meet Mia/Chloe. Mia was kidnapped by a stalker with the intent to extort money from her very wealthy and prominent father. Chloe is the girl who returns to her family while Mia remains trapped by her own subconscious after the horror she faced.
The Good Girl relies heavily on cliché; It has a pretty, little rich girl who loathes her wealth and status, a kidnapper with a conscience, a dickish detective with a heart of gold, and totally aloof, distant parents that Mia detests with little foundation. I never grew to care for Mia – not when she was cold and crying in her captor’s lair, and not after a shell of her former self had been returned to her family. I never disliked or feared her kidnapper, but I took larger issue with him sprouting a conscience after abducting someone.
“But there’s the gun. She sees it. And in that moment, things change. There’s a moment of recognition. Of her mind registering the gun, of her figuring out what the fuck is about to happen. Her mouth parts and out comes a word: ‘Oh.’”
“Oh” precisely sums up my reaction to this book. It didn’t get scary psychologically and the suspense built within one chapter would quickly diminish with the frequent chapter breaks that not only change point-of-view narrators, but also had temporal shifts before and after the kidnapping. The result was jarring and confusing, not mysterious.
I think the largest problem this book had was me as a reader. I just recently finished two awesomely creepy books about missing women: Gone Girl and The Collector. On the heels of those 4-star works, this novel didn’t stand up. It was conventional and predictable, even in the midst of its “major” shocker (which I won’t spoil for you).
If you’re looking for a genuine thriller about a kidnapper, check out the oldie but goodie Along Came a Spider by James Patterson. Want something about a rich girls who you don’t hate, go for Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar.