The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

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The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

Category: General Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: A brilliant read about before and after, this shows the cracks in a family that only start to surface after a terrifying ordeal
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 384 Date: August 2014
Publisher: Mira
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1848453111

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A young teacher is kidnapped leaving her family distraught. Wealthy and influential, they call in the big guns to find their daughter, but is there more to the story, and indeed to the family, than meets the eye?

There is a standard formula for 'kidnap' books. We meet the character before she is snatched, follow her for a bit but not too long and then watch it happen. Or we join the family after it happens. We'll stick with them as they grieve and we'll follow the investigation to a conclusion, whatever that may be. This book breaks all the rules. We know Mia is found and comes home barely a second after we learn she's missing. We know how she lives while captured before we see how she's snatched. This book jumps around, from the before to the after and if that sounds confusing believe me, it's not in the slightest. In fact it's rather wonderful. Because the only thing more compelling than trying to find someone, is trying to find out exactly what happened to them for those months they were missing, especially when the girl who comes back doesn't really want to talk about it.

This book is told through the eyes of Mia's mother, her captor and the detective leading the case. Mia herself won't speak directly to us until the epilogue, but that doesn't mean her story isn't told. The three perspectives are wonderfully placed to give a rounded view of her life, from someone who's known her since birth to a new companion who is spending more time with her than her family have recently. (And as an aside...would a British expat and an esteemed judge really name a child Mia? While I like the name, it seems a tad un-traditional. Meh, maybe that's by the by).

I loved the style of the book and the pace, the way the changes in time and narrator allowed for mini cliff hangers in a beautifully frustrating way. The story is easy to read but it's not simplified. Instead, it's a fast-paced, intriguing, emotive narrative that changes your mind as you turn each page. When Colin's mother appeared, it shook me to my core, reminding me that there's always another side to every story, and to every person. She, ultimately, was the character who garnered most sympathy from me.

This story could have gone in so many ways, but none could have been more perfect than the way it went. I saw something online about a big twist at the end, at which point I started guessing but nothing could have prepared me for those final few words, an act of aggression in a world he couldn't control.

This is a stellar debut novel that isn't too extreme in any way. It’s dark but not sinister, emotional but only to the extent that I cried once. And moreover it’s compelling, addictive and full of suspense to keep you hooked. Highly recommended.

Thanks go to the publishers for supplying this book.

This book reminded me of If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch and also Dead To You by Lisa McMann

Buy The Good Girl by Mary Kubica at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Good Girl by Mary Kubica at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Good Girl by Mary Kubica at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Good Girl by Mary Kubica at Amazon.com.


Booklists.jpg The Good Girl by Mary Kubica is in the Top Ten General Fiction Books of 2014.

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