Book Review – The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

Title: The Good GirlBook Review Image
Author: Mary Kubica
ISBN: 9780778316558
No. of Pages: 352
Genre: Suspense
Origins: Harlequin MIRA
Release Date: 29 July 2014
Bottom Line: Excellent thriller

The Good Girl by Mary KubicaSynopsis:

“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.”

Thoughts:      Thrillers tend to be most effective when readers get the chance to get inside the criminal’s mind. The opportunity to see the criminal rationalize his behavior humanizes them and lessens the starkness of the crime, whatever it may be. In The Good Girl, readers get this opportunity almost from the beginning, as the story unfolds through Colin’s eyes. One sees his hesitancy and agony at what he has to do and recognizes that this is not a cold-blooded person. How he balances his criminal actions with his guilt is one of the more appealing aspects of the story.

Because every such story needs a point and counterpoint, The Good Girl’s counterpoint to Colin’s story comes via Eve. Eve is the distraught mother who spends much of the time wishing she could have done things differently. Through Eve’s memories of Mia’s childhood, readers begin to fill in the puzzle pieces to Mia’s frame of mind at the time of her kidnapping, the reasons for her distance from her family, and how she came to be the adult she is. While this may not seem necessary at first, it becomes very important as one tries to piece together Mia’s missing memories.

The characters, their thoughts, and their reactions are essential to any good character-driven story. Thankfully, The Good Girl’s characters live up to the task. None of them are flashy, mentally disturbed, or overly memorable. Yet, their normalcy is what gives the story its potency. It is all too easy for readers to envision themselves as one or another of the characters, to step into their shoes and feel their emotions. Their empathetic natures blur the lines between good and bad, right and wrong, so that readers are left to weed through the gray areas and discern their own answers.

The story unfolds in fits and starts, bouncing from pre-, post-, and mid-abduction as well as from different characters’ points of view. Readers know who and the how of the abduction as well as its aftermath. What remains a mystery are the reasons why. All three main characters struggle with this remaining question, and it is not until the very end when the final piece slides into place with an almost audible click. It is a deft sleight of hand with which Ms. Kupica is able to lure readers into a false sense of security until she is ready to reveal her cards. It is also the moment at which the story becomes truly excellent.

Victim, accomplice, criminal – these words lose their meaning in The Good Girl. For Mia’s abduction is anything but ordinary, just as Colin’s life of crime is not a sign of a mentally disturbed man. Much of the novel explores Mia’s relationship with Colin, such as it is, but it also delves into the nature versus nurture debate. It makes one question the definition of victim and criminal, whether one can be both at the same time. It also makes one posit just where guilt resides. As such, The Good Girl is as much a psychological thriller as it is a mystery, and both aspects will keep one’s mind spinning.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

It’s Monday, July 21st! What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading?

Hosted by Sheila from Book Journey, this is a weekly event to share what we’ve read in the past week and what we hope to read, plus whatever else comes to mind. Finished Last Week: Did Not Finish: Within the first ten pages of starting this novel, I knew it was not for me. The…

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Book Review – Prototype by M. D. Waters

Prototype by M. D. Waters

Title: Prototype Author: M. D. Waters ISBN: 9780525954248 No. of Pages: 384 Genre: Science Fiction Origins: Dutton Adult Release Date: 24 July 2014 Bottom Line: Love, love, love Synopsis: “Emma looks forward to the day when she can let go of her past—both of them. After more than a year on the run, with clues…

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Book Review – The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

Title: The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3) Author: Deborah Harkness ISBN: 9780670025596 No. of Pages: 576 Genre: Fantasy Origins: Viking Books Release Date: 15 July 2014 Bottom Line: This will go down as one of the best books of 2014 for me. Synopsis: “After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second…

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Book Review – Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones

Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones

Title: Illusive Author: Emily Lloyd-Jones ISBN: 9780316254564 No. of Pages: 416 Genre: Young Adult; Science Fiction Origins: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Release Date: 15 July 2014 Bottom Line: Forgettable Synopsis: “The X-Men meets Ocean’s Eleven in this edge-of-your-seat sci-fi adventure about a band of “super” criminals. When the MK virus swept across the…

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Book Review – The Butcher by Jennifer Hillier

The Butcher by Jennifer Hillier

Title: The Butcher Author: Jennifer Hillier ISBN: 9781476734217 No. of Pages: 352 Genre: Thriller Origins: Gallery Books Release Date: 15 July 2014 Bottom Line: Meh Synopsis: “A rash of grisly serial murders plagued Seattle until the infamous ‘Beacon Hill Butcher’ was finally hunted down and killed by police chief Edward Shank in 1985. Now, some…

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

It’s Monday, July 14th! What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading?

Hosted by Sheila from Book Journey, this is a weekly event to share what we’ve read in the past week and what we hope to read, plus whatever else comes to mind. Finished Last Week: Did Not Finish: The premise behind the book, comparing dry cultures with wet ones is intriguing. Unfortunately, Mr. Osborne spends…

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Book Review – Life Drawing by Robin Black

Life Drawing by Robin Black

Title: Life Drawing Author: Robin Black ISBN: 978-1-4000-6856-2 No. of Pages: 256 Genre: Psychological Thriller Origins: Random House Release Date: 15 July 2014 Bottom Line: Gorgeously written, stunning story Synopsis: “In Life Drawing, her gorgeously written first novel, Robin Black unfolds a fierce, honest, and moving portrait of a woman, and of a couple’s life—the…

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Book Review – All I Love and Know by Judith Frank

All I Love and Know by Judith Frank

Title: All I Love and Know Author: Judith Frank ISBN: 9780062302878 No. of Pages: 432 Genre: Literary Fiction Origins: William Morrow Release Date: 15 July 2014 Bottom Line: Beautiful Synopsis: “For years, Matthew Greene and Daniel Rosen have enjoyed a contented domestic life in Northampton, Massachusetts. Opposites in many ways, they have grown together and…

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Book Cover Image: The Queen of the Tearling by Erica Johansen

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Title: The Queen of the Tearling Author: Erica Johansen ISBN: 9780062290366 No. of Pages: 448 Genre: Speculative Fiction Origins: Harper Release Date: 15 July 2014 Bottom Line: Fantastic writing, compelling characters, great new series Synopsis: “Magic, adventure, mystery, and romance combine in this epic debut in which a young princess must reclaim her dead mother’s…

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS