Sunday, April 17, 2016

Book Review: The Good Girl

The Good Girl
Mary Kubica
Harlequin MIRA, 2014
Genre: mystery, thriller
Source: borrowed
Rating: 4 out of 5

~What It's About~
The Dennett family is devastated when Mia, their youngest daughter and an art teacher at a school Chicago, disappears.  Her father, an important judge, believes she is just off gallivanting around and Mia's sister, a lawyer, agrees.  Eve Dennett knows better and she wants Detective Gabe Hoffman to find her and bring her home.  But Mia has been taken by Colin Thatcher and he has her hidden in a secluded cabin somewhere in the middle of Minnesota.  

Told in alternating perspectives and time frames, the story of Mia's kidnapping and the after effects are slowly pieced together, revealing only a little at a time.  Both the story of her disappearances and the Dennett family is slowly unraveled through the telling of this story.

~The Good~
Mary Kubica has done an excellent job of revealing little bits of evidence here and there.  They're subtle details that cause you to start thinking chapters later and going back to search for that possible clue you might remember.  Although it seems like you've got it all figured out, you're not quite sure and need the ending to confirm your suspicions.

The Dennett family is an interesting group of characters and through flashbacks we begin to understand how they work as a family unit.  Even though we only hear from Eve (Mia's mother) she gives us a pretty comprehensive understanding of her view of the family dynamics.  This is mostly because she is looking back at her life and her relationship with her daughter and how she went wrong.  Couple with Detective Hoffman's interactions and study of the Dennetts, you feel as if you understand how they work.  However, it's obvious that all of our narrators are keeping something from us and truly trusting any one of them is not a good idea.

Colin, Mia's kidnapper, almost seems to be the most honest narrator, revealing much more to the reader than he does to Mia.  It's easy to trust him.  I felt like Colin was a character who, if he said something, I could trust it.  If he wanted to keep it from me, he wouldn't say it all.  I was unable to say this about either Eve or Gabe.

~The Not-So-Good~
I did figure it out pretty early; however there were things that I didn't completely know of had questioned until the end.  I would have actually likes to hear from Mia's father, but understand how and why that didn't happen.  I believe his perspective (even if it had not been completely honest) would have cleared up some questions I still have at the end of the novel.  I'm not sure if having those questions unanswered is good or bad.  It's okay for there to be things I'm unsure of or that are left up to me to make that decision based on what I know, but I haven't' decided if the questions I still have are ones that should be left up to me to discern.  

~Final Thoughts~
The Good Girl is another story that will bode well for readers of Gillian Flynn and fans of The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.  There are many secrets and clues to unravel before you can feel like you know what's really going on with Mia Dennett's disappearance.

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