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The Good Girl (English Edition) Hardcover – July 29, 2014
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In this tale of a kidnapping gone wrong, Mia, the black-sheep daughter of prominent Chicago judge James Dennett, impulsively decides to go home with Colin, a young man she meets in a bar. The one-night stand quickly turns into a nightmare when Colin forces her into his car in the middle of the night, and Mia learns he’s been sent to abduct her for ransom. But just before the drop-off point, Colin, for reasons unknown, decides not to hand her over to the man who has hired him and instead takes her to a remote cabin in Minnesota. Back at home, Mia’s mother, Eve, cannot understand why James doesn’t seem to take the news of his daughter’s disappearance as seriously as she does. Gabe, the detective assigned to the case, wonders the same thing. The narrative unfolds in four different perspectives—from Mia, Eve, Gabe, and Colin, in alternating chapters—which are also structured as “before” and “after.” The organization can prove puzzling, but Kubica’s debut thriller builds suspense steadily and will have readers guessing what’s really going on until the final pages. --Rebecca Vnuk
"A twisty, roller coaster ride of a debut. Fans of Gone Girl will embrace this equally evocative tale."
-Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"Kubica's powerful debut...will encourage comparisons to Gone Girl." -Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Psychologically rich and pulse pounding, The Good Girl had me hooked from the very first sentence and didn't let go until the final word."
-Heather Gudenkauf, bestselling author of The Weight of Silence and Little Mercies
"[Kubica's] masterful handling of plot makes The Good Girl hard to put down."
-The Columbus Dispatch
"The Good Girl has everything going for it. A fresh new style...the denouement will stun. I look forward to Kubica's next novel."
"A cleverly constructed suspense thriller."
-Chicago Tribune, Printer's Row
"The Good Girl provides a very good mystery."
-Minneapolis Star Tribune
"A high-intensity thriller, a psychological puzzle that will keep readers on their toes."
"Mary Kubica's The Good Girl will surely captivate."
-Chicago Book Review
"There are lots of twists and turns in this novel, but I really didn't see the last one coming. Its comparisons to Gone Girl and The Silent Wife are deserved."
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Top customer reviews
The Good Girl is the polar opposite. I really liked the characters. Or most of them. I felt their struggles were real. Their interactions were real. The bad guys were developed enough to identify and dislike them, but the story is not about the bad guys. It's about surviving. Surviving trauma the began before and ended well after a kidnapping.
p.s. the ending is thoroughly satisfying
Eve discovers her daughter Mia is missing, but her husband, a judge, thinks the twenty-five-year-old is back to her irresponsible teen years. Gabe, assigned to the case, is relentlessly determine to find Mia. Elsewhere, Colin holds Mia hostage in an abandoned cabin deep in the woods. Told before and after Mia's return, Gabe, Eve and Colin narrate the story. This is not a spoiler, we learn in the first few pages that .Mia returns home.
THE GOOD GIRL is almost like two separate books. The first 80% read more like mediocre women's fiction, the pace slow, way too much backstory disguised as dialogue, more telling than showing, repetitive. I felt no tension, knowing she survives the ordeal. All three narrators basically had the same voice, Eve's. If Colin's parts showed more of less educated, rough tone and Gabe's more coppish, they would have sounded more authentic. Colin used the word, agrarian, which was the only word in the entire novel I had to look up. The last 20% were fast paced and captivating, I couldn't wait to see what happened next.
Eve's passivity seemed almost inconceivable, but considering her husband James's nasty words and behaviors, she probably had a form of battered women's syndrome, only with insults that cut like a knife rather than bruises. Her weakness, ever after Mia's return, had me wondering, "how can she let James speak to Mia the way he does?" I waited and waited for her to stand up to him. I empathized more with Colin than James, since James was a one-dimensional bad guy. Colin was the character with the most depth. I wish I had been able to empathize more with Mia, but all we know of her is through her mother and kidnappers eyes. Even though she dialogues with Colin toward the end of the book, I still didn't feel like I knew her.
I had a hard time deciding how many stars to give THE GOOD GIRL. Most of the first 80% I thought 2-2.5, but the last 20% were a 5 so I came up with 3.5 three stars. If the first part of the book has shorter/less repetitive and written with the same tension as the last part, this would be an easy 5 star.