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Book Review

‘The Good Girl’

8/27/2014

9780778316558_RHC_SMP.inddCourtesy of Beaverdale Books

Review by Shirley Shiffler

Mira Books

July 29, 2014

$24.95

HIV

350 Pages

With her debut novel “The Good Girl,” Mary Kubica has received well-deserved comparisons to Gillian Flynn and Tana French. This psychological thriller kept me turning the pages until well past my bedtime and had me hooked until, literally, the very last word.

Mia Dennett is an art teacher at an inner-city high school in Chicago. This career choice has estranged her from what others perceive as her perfect family — her politically ambitious, cold father; her unfulfilled socialite mother; and her career-minded lawyer sister. One evening, Mia is waiting for her somewhat tepid boyfriend at a bar, but when he doesn’t show up she falls into conversation with a charming Colin Thatcher. They have a few drinks, she leaves the bar with him and what starts out as a one-night fling turns into an extortion plot and abduction that goes terribly wrong.

Mia’s mother, Eve, is understandably horrified by the kidnapping and begins to realize both how little she knows her daughter and how very imperfect her family really is. She works closely with Gabe, the police detective determined to find the missing girl. The narrative is told by the main characters in alternating voices (Colin, Eve and Gabe) and goes back and forth in time (before and after Mia is found).

I’ve read a lot of mysteries and thrillers and am often not too surprised by “who done it.” I was sure I had this one figured out early on, but boy, was I wrong. I can’t remember the last time I finished a book only to turn around and read it again, but I did with “The Good Girl.” Even knowing the ending, I enjoyed it every bit as much the second time through. CV

Shirley Shiffler is a good girl who grew up in Urbandale, graduated from Drake University (twice!), and lives in the Beaverdale neighborhood.

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