Review: The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

The Good GirlI’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 colour of her eyes or what they look like when they’re scared. But I will.’

Mia Dennett can’t resist a one-night stand with the enigmatic stranger she meets in a bar. But going home with him might turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia’s life…

An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller, The Good Girl is a compulsive debut that reveals how, even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems…


Spoiler Alert: Although The Good Girl is a stand-a-lone novel, I could not avoid spoilers when sharing my thoughts.

The Good Girl turned out to be a predictable and forgettable mystery story for me.

The story is told in a combination of present and flashback scenes from three different character P.O.V.’s. I’m not opposed to flashbacks, I rather enjoy them, but only when they are executed well. Unfortunately I didn’t feel the flashback/present mix was. I could follow the story, but it was tiring to do so.

I blame this mostly on the characters. I found none of them likeable and on the stereotypical side. I disliked Colin. He bugged me to no end. Granted I didn’t like the other characters, but they were easily forgettable. I think this might be due to most of the story being told via Colin’s perspective. That and realising the characters would be indistinguishable if their names were not headings for chapters.

Colin is the bad boy, whinging and hating the world due to his mother developing a debilitating illness when he was younger. Of course this means he has to become a criminal. There’s no other way and all he wants to do, in his head, is gripe about his misfortune and how the girl he has kidnapped is so privileged.

In the midst of this Colin reveals his humanity and saves the girl. The frustrating thing is he didn’t tell her what he was doing. He’d gripe, mentally once again, of how she didn’t understand. Colin, if you’d just opened your mouth sooner, maybe you could spend time sulking about your life and not what you supposed your hostage was thinking.

This leads to the main reason I disliked Colin, besides his bad attitude. You can’t get a look into Mia’s head until the very end, but her thoughts and feelings are shared via Colin anyway. He didn’t assume, he told. He told when he couldn’t possibly know and it was very frustrating.

I didn’t care for the Stockholm Syndrome twist. Not that I don’t believe Stockholm Syndrome doesn’t exist, but I think something was missing in the execution. I couldn’t buy the love developing between Colin and Mia. I’ve considered it may be from how the story was delivered. Perhaps if the story had been linear, which I realise would have caused it to lose its mystery, the developing feelings might be more conceivable.

The pregnancy was both predictable and unfortunate. It didn’t come across as a plot device at all, but more of something thrown in there to appease those sappier readers. Maybe if I’d grown attached to either Colin or Mia I would have been sad enough to care Mia had something from Colin. Except I didn’t. My immediate reaction was thinking it was convenient.

While The Good Girl clearly was not for me I’m glad I read it. Sometimes you need to break out from your usual genres and also see what all the fuss is about in a new release. Sure, I didn’t see the fuss, but we can’t love everything we read.

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