Book review: The Good Girl

the good girl by mary kubica 24-7-14The story starts with a missing girl, woman really, though we first hear the news of the disappearance of Mia Dennett from her mother’s point of view. And to her mother, Mia is still a girl though she is a schoolteacher. Detective Gabe Hoffman is bemused that Mia’s parents don’t seem to visit their daughter’s apartment. And then, the time shifts and it is after Mia’s return and we are with Mia and her parents on the way to psychiatrist. Amnesia. Mia cannot remember what happened.

And so the story is pieced together. Mia’s kidnap is told from multiple viewpoints; before, during and after the event over a winter in Chicago. Everyone in this dysfunctional family seems to have their own agenda. But Mia cannot remember what happened in that cabin where she was held captive by a man called Owen for three months.

The setting of the Minnesota cabin in winter is so clearly drawn I could be there, a mixture of beautiful, intimidating and claustrophobic. The eerie quiet, the ice fishing, the extreme cold. The feeling of being trapped, in more ways than one. Mary Kubica handles the transition of the kidnap relationship so well, two people sharing an intimate space for so long, and how the emotions and stresses play out.



One hiccup for me and I hesitate to mention it as I’m not sure if it’s because I got an advance e-book to review and the formatting was not correct. There were no chapters, no section dividers with datelines, hardly any asterix to denote a change of section and I found this disorientating. The point of view changed quickly so one paragraph it was pre-kidnap, the next during the kidnap, then after the kidnap, and it took a few moments to work out the timing, which was long enough to upset the rhythm of the story. I hate unclear viewpoint/timeline swapping, so I thought I’d better mention it. [NB. Mary Kubica has reassured me that this formatting issue will be corrected in the final edition of the e-book].

But the ending is worth it.

Kubica [below] has plotted a page-turning story, sort of a kidnap version of Gone Girl, though she may hate the comparison.

[photo: Megan Bearder]

[photo: Megan Bearder]

To watch the book trailer for The Good Girl, click here.
For Mary Kubica’s website, click here.
Watch an interview with Mary Kubica, talking about The Good Girl, by clicking here.

‘The Good Girl’ by Mary Kubica [pub. in the UK on July 29, 2014 by MIRA]

2 thoughts on “Book review: The Good Girl

  1. Pingback: #BookReview ‘Pretty Baby’ by @MaryKubica #mystery #suspense | SANDRA DANBY'S BOOK REVIEWS

  2. Pingback: #BookReview ‘Pretty Is’ by @memitchell_99 #mystery #suspense | SANDRA DANBY'S BOOK REVIEWS

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