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The Good Girl

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I've been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she works. I don't know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she's scared. But I will.

One night, Mia Dennett enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn't show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. 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.

When Colin decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota instead of delivering her to his employers, 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.

352 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2014

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About the author

Mary Kubica is a New York Times bestselling author of suspense thrillers including The Good Girl, The Other Mrs., and Local Woman Missing. Her books have been translated into over thirty languages and have sold over two million copies worldwide. She’s been described as “a helluva storyteller” (Kirkus) and “a writer of vice-like control” (Chicago Tribune), and her novels have been praised as “hypnotic” (People) and “thrilling and illuminating” (L.A. Times). She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and children.

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5 stars
63,162 (26%)
4 stars
94,108 (39%)
3 stars
59,051 (24%)
2 stars
15,592 (6%)
1 star
5,526 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 17,570 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,992 reviews298k followers
December 15, 2015
This book, like many others, is recommended for fans of Gone Girl, but I think if you gave it some different marketing and a younger protagonist, you could easily slot this in among the YA/NA romances.

If this book hadn't been the only one I was carrying on a flight, I doubt I would have finished it. The sluggish pacing is more suited to quiet family dramas than thrillers, and yet the characters' lack of depth paired with trope after trope make it fail as a worthy contribution to that sub-genre as well. Try A Spool of Blue Thread or Everything I Never Told You, if that's what you're looking for.

Everything about this book is so obvious. I predicted the ending from the moment Mia is kidnapped (yes, another thriller about a missing rich woman) and - to be honest - started to guess it the moment the book was compared to Gone Girl. I also don't know if the Stockholm Syndrome was meant to be surprising, but that too was obvious almost immediately.

I think The Good Girl needed stronger, more nuanced characters to carry its plot. Instead, we have the kidnapped daughter of a wealthy judge (who also happens to be the black sheep of the family), the aforementioned wealthy judge who is defined solely by his cruelty, the judge's unhappy trophy wife, and the detective who is such a cliche detective that it was hard not to imagine him with a funny hat and magnifying glass.

On top of this, the story is so underwhelming and... boring. In this case, because of the changing perspectives, there is very little mystery behind the kidnapping. We know exactly what happened to Mia and, because of the changing "before" and "after" perspectives, we also know that she will be "rescued".

The story is a long, detailed look at how a girl is kidnapped by a guy who is kind to her, looks after her, and tries to protect her. I was hardly hanging on the edge of my seat and wondering what would happen to her. I mean, I saw the Stockholm Syndrome coming from a mile away. No tension, no suspense, no mystery. Just a predictable "twist" flying in at the end.

Also, I can't remember if anyone else has said anything about this, so it might just be me, but some of the emphasis placed on skin colour made me really uncomfortable. The author seems to go out of her way to point out when the white, privileged characters are minorities - usually to indicate that they are in a dangerous, shady place. What's up with all the "black" and "dark" characters being the bad guys?

Too slow, too predictable and nothing new.

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Profile Image for kennedy.
107 reviews
June 9, 2014
This is a debut?!!? WHAT? We need more authors like this out here.

This book is not at all what it seems. I was expecting a book like Gone Girl and what I got was a relative of it. If you liked Gone Girl, you will like The Good Girl. It had me racing through the pages until the very end, WHICH BLEW...MY...MIND!

It didn't really hit me what was going on until the last few pages. I had to reread a couple of pages to get it, but it was enjoyable, not annoying where I just didn't get it. I had an idea of what was going on, but I had to be sure. This book really kept me guessing and each time, I was just very wrong.

I really did like the multiple POV's of the novel, however. To some it may be confusing, but to me it was great! Refreshing, even. I haven't read a novel with multiple POV's that I have enjoyed in a long time. The author did a good job with hooking the reader in and having them crave for the end of every chapter, just so they could see what was going on in the next one. The characters were realistic to people I know and I was drawn into their lives and this again, was great.

This is a fantastic book if you're craving a dark mystery. If you read this, you won't be disappointed because I was not and I am now looking forward to more books by Mary Kubica. She can write a hell of a story.
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,514 reviews29.4k followers
February 9, 2017
Dear publishing world, for the love of all that is holy, can we stop referring to any book with a scintilla of suspense in it as "the next Gone Girl"? Honestly, these books have very little in common (except for one or two unlikeable characters), so the comparison either sets up unfair expectations or might cause those who disliked the original book to pass this one by. And they shouldn't.

Mia Dennett is the headstrong daughter of James, a powerful and ego-driven Chicago judge, and his English wife, Eve, who has been a victim of her husband's domineering nature for so long that she has become utterly malleable. One night Mia's boyfriend cancels their date at the last minute (a frequent occurrence), leaving her alone at the bar where they were to meet. She drinks a little too much, and finds herself flirting with Colin Thatcher, who provides just the right salve for her vulnerability that night.

But when Mia decides to go home with Colin, she gets far more than just a one-night stand. Colin was actually paid to abduct her and deliver her to a notorious criminal, so he could hold her for ransom. However, something convinces Colin not to follow the original plan, and instead he takes Mia to a secluded cabin in Minnesota. The two go into hiding, hoping they can steer clear of law enforcement and those who originally paid Colin to abduct Mia.

At first, their relationship is built on dominance and fear, as Colin must threaten Mia to get her to stay with him. But eventually, Mia realizes there is far more to Colin than meets the eye, that he is vulnerable and emotionally needy, and Colin realizes that Mia isn't the spoiled little rich girl he assumed she was when he was hired to abduct her.

The Good Girl shifts perspective between Colin, Eve, and Gabe Hoffman, the police detective investigating Mia's disappearance, and it shifts from the events leading up to and through her abduction to the aftermath. Gabe is determined to find out what happened to Mia, despite constant resistance from her father, and Eve is wracked with guilt that she wasn't the mother she knew she could be, and is desperate for one more chance.

This is one of those books that makes you suspect everyone isn't what they seem to be. Even though some of the plot points seem to be fairly obvious (at least to me), I definitely wondered how Mary Kubica was going to tie everything up—or even if she was going to. I definitely thought Kubica tried to hard to make James, and to some extent, Eve, fairly unlikeable characters (although in different ways), but I found Mia and Colin's characters tremendously interesting. I almost wish the book could have focused on them the entire time.

I enjoyed this book and found myself pretty hooked, even as I hoped that Kubica wouldn't take the plot in a certain direction. She's a very skilled writer, and this is definitely worth a read if you like suspense/crime novels.
Profile Image for MollyK.
450 reviews38 followers
August 3, 2014
**** GoodReads Giveaway Winner ***

The publishers of this book will tell you that The Good Girl is the next Gone Girl. It is not, don’t even bother.

There are no fantastic plot twists because you pretty much know from the beginning what is going to happen. The clues are not so much cleverly placed as leadenly bombard the reader. This is not an intelligent read but an attack on the reader’s intelligence. The author relies on lazy literary and cultural stereotypes. In fact, this book was filled with subtle and overt racism.

The author lets us know that only missing beautiful blonds are important enough for an investigator to devote his time too. If the population of an “ethnic” area is nearly half white then its “safe to walk around at night.” If an area is “largely African American” then it a “hellhole.” She even characterizes her white criminal as misunderstood with a wounded heart underneath. The African American is a crazy predator, like an animal. (No she didn’t call him a monkey she likens him to a killer whale. All black and shiny with scary white teeth!)

WFT. Its 2014 are there no minorities working at Harlequin or even an educated socially aware white person???? Or was the idea that this poor imitation of Gone Girl could garner some of the monetary success enough to turn a blinds eye? Disgusting.
Profile Image for Mandie Lowe.
376 reviews36 followers
February 23, 2015
We'd built a fire from nothing but wood.

So says Good Girl character Colin Thatcher, bragging about his survival skills. I feel that the book can be summed up similarly: she'd written a book using nothing but words. That's all there is to it, words and words and more words, but very little else to recommend it to people who enjoy reading words. If you disagree with me and think that words are all it takes to write a novel, go read a phone book and then get back to me.

I honestly feel torn about devoting any amount of time to writing a review of this book, but I feel cheated and would like to be able to share some words of my own.

I don't say a thing.

That's Colin Thatcher again. He's a character in this "story", but he doesn't do much, by his own admission. None of the "characters" do much, really. This book, somehow, has managed to garner comparisons to Gone Girl, when it is the complete opposite of that successful tale. Where Flynn creates complex characters, Kubica gathered some paper dolls and didn't even bother to paste them to sticks and make them move. They remain lifeless on each page. As Colin points out, he doesn't say a thing, along with the other characters, because the dialogue here is so painful that it is better for all concerned if the characters just cry and whine. Flynn created a convoluted plot, whereas Kubica took two sentences, called it a story and then spent over 300 pages obscuring that story, working her way backwards from the ending towards the two sentences that reveal to the reader what they're actually reading.

I have no knowledge of professional sports.

That's Eve, the most useless mother who never mothered. She has little to no knowledge of anything useful. She doesn't have a job. She's not a homemaker (And by homemaker you mean?...We have a cleaning lady, you know.). She can't cook. Supposedly concerned over the disappearance of her youngest daughter, Eve only contacted Mia twice during the year prior to the abduction. Now all of a sudden, Eve is one of the three narrators. Mrs Clueless doesn't have much to say, as you can imagine, so she spends some time thinking about how she met her husband and oh I'm sorry, I just fell asleep.

Detective Whatshisface is another narrator. I assume that he journeyed all the way from a bad crime writer's reject pile to come and play cops and robbers in this story. What I know about Detective Whatshisface: He wears clothes. He forms unprofessional relationships with people involved in his cases. He has no life.

How much I care about Detective Whatshisface:

Who else? Oh yes, Colin. The guy. Um, well, he's this guy and he's in the story and he doesn't really talk or do anything except behave violently every now and then. Really, he has no redeeming qualities. Unfortunately for the reader, we are subjected to scenes like these:

That's some Fifty Shades of Grey levels of "please, no, gross" right there. Also note that the use of the word "reiterates" here is incorrect. This is not the only instance of words being used incorrectly. The descriptions are frequently equally baffling:

I watch the clumsy hair fall across her rosy cheeks, numb still from the winter air.

Look at my numb cheeks! Look at them! Can you see how numb they are? Oh, the extent of their numbness is concealed by my clumsy hair? Forgive me.

The sleeve of a black spandex top grazes my back. I'm sure she doesn't notice. But I do.

Hahahahahahaha! Does the author even know what spandex is? In case you missed the 80's, spandex is a skin-tight fabric. If a spandex sleeve grazes something, you can be certain that the arm encased in the sleeve would have felt it, too. Because it's SPANDEX! Not a monk's robes! Why is this rich lady wearing long-sleeved spandex tops anyway?

We travel along a two-lane road, through the Superior National Forest, surrounded by more vegetation than I believe I've ever seen in my entire life. Much of the greenery is dead now, buried under mounds of snow; it will not be unearthed until spring.

Wow. Such green. Much vegetation. Wow.

That's rich-girl Mia, whose daddy is a judge and whose mommy is a trophy wife (her own description) and she's never seen more verdant settings than these dead trees covered in snow. Wait, did I miss a twist? Was Mia actually raised in a basement the entire time and this whole story is her own fabrication to make sense of her new found freedom? Oh, no, this story is just STUPID.

Listen, I'm not exaggerating. I'm going to wrap up this review now, so that I can devote my time to reading something better (I can guarantee that anything I read next will be better, because this was bottom of the barrel quality), but I want to make sure that you, dear reader, will fully grasp how bad (and dull and tedious) this story is. Usually I would say enjoyment of stories is subjective, I can understand how others might have liked this story, it just wasn't for me.

Not this time.

I'm serious.

Those other reviewers, the ones who gave the book, this book, such high ratings?* They're aliens. Or they were abducted by aliens and then returned to earth, shells of their former selves. I don't know, but something happened to them, because this book? It's no good. Terrible, in fact. Very very bad.

*No offense intended to the four and five star reviewers who enjoyed this book. I hope you get better soon.
Profile Image for Ash Wednesday.
441 reviews525 followers
August 7, 2014
The cover and title typography says “I’m smart and edgy! See that reverse ‘R’? It probably means something related to why the blonde chick wants you to keep quiet. Don’t you want to know why?” And you know I’m all over the smart and edgy with the hint of smart, edgy mindfuck.

The blurb says “An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller” among other things and who cares if my computer is telling me ‘addictively’ isn’t a word? Fuck you, New Oxford American Dictionary! A rich, pretty girl gets abducted by a stalker into a cabin in Winterfell, Minnesota to extort money from her rich daddy judge! I gave 5-fucking-stars to The Dark Duet! I am so going to enjoy the Stockholm out of this motherclucker! You don’t know me!

This reader says...

I tried to live the right way. I tried to follow the rules, but life just didn’t work out that way.

To be honest, the suspense-thriller genre is a Catch-22 territory for me because if the build-up gets too winded, I get impatient; if the mystery is too transparent to figure out, I get pissed off and if the plot-twist intended to blow my mind in the end gets too contrived, I feel cheated. But I still delve into this hopeless adventure because the guesswork is always fun and the characters are, by extension, satisfyingly complex and intriguing.

Based on my kindle app, The Good Girl 340-pages of 3 cliched and monochromatic characters trying to relay the soporific story of Mia Dennett’s abduction with the enthusiasm of a seven year-old hiding a secret I’m not so sure I’m interested to know about. It was like playing a guessing game with someone who keeps on slyly tempting you by building a bland mystery, but they're paying for lunch and so you have to ask them questions and feign interest the rest of the meal.

The story was told from the alternating POVs of Mia Denett’s spineless trophy mom (Eve), the detective assigned to her case (Gabe Hoffman) and her abductor (Colin Thatcher) in varying temporal continuity. Which of course is one source of confusion, since the story shifts and slides with these perspectives i.e. during her abduction thru Colin/Owen; during the search for her thru Gabe; and after she’s been rescued when she only answers to the name of Chloe thru Eve. In the aftermath, she has experienced selective amnesia and you, her family and the detective are trying to piece together what really happened in that cabin.

I rarely complain about a book outside the story and its merits but the galley I read had no chapters with no marker or warning when the POV shifts. I sincerely hope that it’s an uncorrected proof issue rather than a creative writing choice but it really gave me a tough time keeping pace with the rhythm this story intended to set. One moment I’m reading through Colin/Owen’s perspective and without even as much as a paragraph break, the POV shifts to someone else’s. I guess one can imagine how much this would test one's patience, especially with a story lacking the claws to dig deep enough for the reading experience to be seamless and intuitive.
Something has happened to my daughter. Something bad. It screams at me, awakens me in the middle of the night: something has happened to Mia. I tell her we’re going outside. It’s the first time I let her out of the cabin.

That’s EXACTLY how that scene appeared in my reader. So I’d often find myself reading a paragraph back just to recalibrate EVERYTHING in my mind: emotional attachment, perspective, character voice etc. And to make matters worse, I found each of the characters in this book extremely annoying with so much whining and complaining going on. Everyone seems to hate their fathers and finds something to whine about in a way that was meant to earn my sympathy but gained my ire instead.

It was an endless circle of hate: Mia whines about being rich and neglected; Colin hates being poor and how caring for his sick, loving mother pushed him to be a criminal; Eve hates herself for being a weak mother and a pathetic wife; and Gabe Hoffman was just an all around dickwad with, surprise, a hidden heart of gold. The vilification of Mia's father was ridiculously over-simplified without context or depth: He's bad because he's rich and came from a family of lawyers. Much like how certain characters appear to be racially profiled: the cold and distant Russian OB-Gyne, the Somali mobster...

...which ofcourse would not have been something that niggled at me had it not been an item in a growing list of frustration points that includes pandering to my sympathies with Colin's , the distracting and pointless sexual tension between the mom and the detective and the poorly hashed development of the relationship between Mia/Chloe and Colin/Owen. I am perfectly amenable to emotional manipulation, I just didn't like the cheap execution this resorted to. Much less that plot-twist at the end that I was dreading because it made very little sense to me, even if I figured it ahead . Or maybe it was because my alienation from this heroine, of getting to know her through the perspective of others that made that last section (which was 10 or so pages from Mia's POV) a point of hostility for me. Doesn't matter, the plot-twist which I guess this book is banking on to salvage this soporific exercise, was a massive fail.

I suppose I should appreciate the character growth in Eve and Colin's whining and their frustrations ring with some social commentary. There was some entertainment to be derived from the survivalist moments in the cabin, as watching two people suffer and freeze to death for reasons only known to one of them tend to be.
She gets her period and we learn the literal interpretation for being 'on the rag'. I see the blood in a garbage bag and ask, 'What the fuck is this?' I'm sorry I ask. We collect our garbage in some white plastic bags that got left behind. From time to time we drive and drop them off in a Dumpster behind some lodge, late at night when we're certain no one will see. She asks why we don't just leave them outside. I ask if she wants to be eaten by a fucking bear.

All my gripes and grumbles, were easily soothed by some obscure Anchorman reference. Even if it only made the lack of bear-related violence in this story more painfully obvious.

Because seriously, gold mine of a plot twist missed right there.

Review Copy courtesy of the publishers.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.6k followers
November 7, 2021
this isnt a mystery/thriller so much as it is an examination of a kidnapping and the effects it has on the people looking for the missing person.

while i was personally in the mood for more of a mystery (the ending/last chapter definitely tries to satisfies this, so i appreciated that), i did find the story enjoyable enough regardless. its pretty straightforward on all aspects - the writing, the plot, the characters - so its easy to follow along with the series of events. and although the characterisation isnt the best, its actually pretty basic, i still felt interested in what they were going through.

overall, definitely not the strongest story out there, but it does deliver some entertainment.

3 stars
Profile Image for Paul Dinger.
1,075 reviews30 followers
August 16, 2014
I am ashamed to admit that I did read the whole thing. My crap meter went off early on, and I wish I could say it was wrong, but it wasn't. I got taken in by the pretty package, and a good review I am sure I read somewhere. Well, this is bad writing all over. Terrible motivations, has attraction replaced he's / she's crazy as the stupid motivator in movies? Supposed criminal choses not to kidnap woman for evil mastermind because, he's in love. Oh please! The moment things do began to be interesting, it keep steering off into cliche central. And let's not talk about the horrible ending where in order to come up with a 'surprise ending' you would have to forget everything you know. I think this author has talent, she can come up with making this steamy pile of nonsense interesting at times which is quite an accomplishment, but she can't save it from the weight of a lot of bad ideas. In trying to be like Gone Girl, this one is simply gone.
Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,782 reviews14.2k followers
July 14, 2014
Wow, I just finished this and am completely bowled over about this being a debut novel. Talk about non-stop suspense. Told from three different perspective, during the kidnapping, after the kidnapping when they are trying to piece together what happened and from the detective while he is hunting for the kidnappers. So hard to pull of a book like this off and make it believable, but at least for me the author did an amazing job. Revelations, secrets, some major dysfunction going on. A book where the lines between the good guys and bad guys are incredibly blurred.

A well written, suspenseful and engrossing read and definitely an author to watch.

ARC from NetGalley.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews30 followers
May 17, 2022
The Good Girl, Mary Kubica

Lisa Gardner calls The Good Girl ‘a twisty, roller coaster ride of a debut.' 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...

The Good Girl is a compulsive debut that reveals how, even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems...

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیستم ماه نوامبر سال2017میلادی

عنوان: دختر خوب؛ نویسنده ماری کوبیکا؛ مترجم فرشاد شالچیان؛ تهران آموت‏‫، چاپهای اول تا پنجم سال‏‫1396؛ در413ص؛ شابک9786003840270؛‬‬ چاپ ششم سال1397؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده21م

آفرینش داستان معمایی و هیجانی، در قالب کتاب، کار بسیار دشواری است، زیرا واژه ها باید بتوانند فضای تعلیق‌ آمیزی ایجاد کنند، تا خوانشگر هر لحظه مشتاق شنیدن ادامه‌ ی داستان باشد؛ ژانر معمایی یکی از پرطرفدارترین شاخه‌ های سینما و ادبیات است، که بسیاری از نویسندگان جهان کوشش کرده‌ اند داستان‌های مهیج و پرکششی را در این فضا بیافرینند؛ «ماری کوبیکا» یکی از نویسندگان جوانی هستند که با شهامت وارد این ژانر شده اند، و کتاب «دختر خوب» را که نخستین اثر ایشان است، در تم جنایی و معمایی آفریده اند

چکیده: در ابتدا، داستان که از زبان «اوا» بازگو می‌شود، تلفن خانه‌ ی قاضی «دنت»، زنگ می‌خورد، و «اوا» آن را با بی‌حوصلگی پاسخ می‌دهد؛ «آیانا جکسون»، دوست «میا دنت» پشت خط است، و به «اوا»، خبر می‌دهد که «میا دنت» سر کار نیامده است، و پیغام‌های آن‌ها را جواب نمی‌دهد.؛ هیچ یک از دوستان «میا دنت»، از او خبر ندارند، و آن‌ها نگران حال دوستشان هستند.؛ خانواده‌ ی «دنت» پلیس را خبر می‌کنند، و کارآگاه «گیب هافمن»، برای پیدا کردن «میا دنت» به جستجو دلمشغول می‌شود.؛ «میا دنت» معلم هنر دبیرستان، در منطقه‌ ی «نورث وست شیکاگو» است، که ناگهان ناپدید می‌شود، اما خانواده‌ ی او به دلیل موقعیت حساسشان، نمی‌خواهند کسی اطلاعی از مفقود شدن دخترشان، داشته باشد.؛ زمانی که چهار روز از ناپدید شدن «میا دنت» می‌گذرد، روزنامه‌ ها و نشریات آگاه می‌شوند، و خبر گم شدن او را منتشر می‌کنند.؛ کارآگاه «گیب هافمن» تحت فشار قرار می‌گیرد، تا «میا» را هرچه زودتر پیدا کند.؛ «گیب» سرنخ‌ها را دنبال می‌کند، و به جوانی به نام «جیسون» می‌رسد.؛ «جیسون» مهندس آرشیتکت هست، که برای مدتی با «میا دنت» ارتباط دوستانه‌ ای داشته است.؛ «گیب هافمن» کنجکاو می‌شود، این پسر جوان را بیابد، تا بتواند به «میا دنت» نزدیک شود

نقل نمونه ی متن: (اولین کار خلافی که انجام دادم، این بود که شخصی به نام توماس فرگوسن را پیدا کنم؛ قرار بود او را وادار کنم، قرضی را که گرفته بود، پس بدهد؛ آدم پولدار و عجیبی بود؛ نابغه‌ ی تکنولوژی بود، که در دهه‌ ی نود برای خودش اسم و رسمی دست و پا کرده بود؛ عاشق قمار کردن بود؛ مبلغ هنگفتی وام گرفته بود، و تقریبا همه‌ ی پولی را که قرار بود با آن خانه بخرد، در قمار باخته بود؛ سپس پس‌ انداز دانشگاه فرزندش را در قمار باخته بود؛ پس از آن به سراغ پس‌ اندازی رفته بود، که والدین زنش برایش گذاشته بودند؛ زنش وقتی این موضوع را فهمید، او را تهدید کرد که ترکش می‌کند؛ او باز هم پولی دست و پا کرده، و به قمارخانه‌ ای در «جولیت» رفته بود، تا هر چه باخته، جبران کند؛ آن بار پول زیادی به جیب زده بود، اما قرضش را پس نداد؛ پیدا کردن «توماس فرگوسن» راحت بود؛ یادم هست که وقتی به خانه‌ ی او در محله‌ ی «استریت ویل» در «شیکاگو» می‌رفتم، دست‌هایم چطور می‌لرزید؛ نمی‌خواستم به دردسر بیفتم؛ زنگ در را زدم؛ وقتی یک دختر نوجوان لای در را باز کرد، با هل دادن در، خود را وارد خانه کردم؛ شبی پاییزی بود، و ساعت از هشت گذشته بود؛ به یاد دارم که هوا سرد بود؛ خانه تاریک بود؛ دختربچه شروع به جیغ زدن کرد؛ مادرش هم دوان دوان به آنجا آمد؛ وقتی من تفنگم را نشان دادم، آن‌ها زیر یک میز کار کهنه پناه گرفتند؛ به زن گفتم که شوهرش را صدا کند؛ او طبقه‌ ی بالا مخفی شده بود؛ همه‌ ی اقدامات ضروری را انجام داده بودم، قطع کردن خط تلفن و بستن در پشتی خانه؛ راهی برای فرار نداشت؛ اما با اینحال «توماس فرگوسن»، آنقدر صبر کرد تا من دست و پای زن و فرزندش را بستم، و با تفنگی که سر همسرش را نشانه رفته بودم، همان جا ایستادم؛ تا اینکه بالاخره از لانه بیرون آمد؛ گفت که پولی ندارد؛ حتی یک سنت به نام خودش ندارد؛ اما ممکن نبود حرفش راست باشد؛ بیرون خانه‌ اش یک کادیلاک شاسی بلند نو پارک شده بود، که همسرش هدیه خریده بود.)؛ پایان نقل

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 25/04/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 26/02/1401هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Jennifer.
85 reviews7 followers
August 13, 2014
I hated this novel. It was neither suspenseful nor a thriller. There is a completely predictable "twist" at the end, but good luck making it that far. I skimmed the last 75%. For a while I tried to figure out what was bothering me-the lack of character motivation that made sense? My inability to figure out whether or not there was actually a protagonist? The contrived plot? The not-very-subtle-actually racism pervading the novel (seriously, the author should probably not include a Somali character when she's obviously never met a single Somali in her life) In the end, it was all of those things, but mostly it was that, despite the novel being written in first person from several points of view, I could not connect with a single character. I simply didn't care what happened to any of them or why. They weren't unlikable-it was worse; they were boring. You know what, now that I think about it, in a contest for what I hate most about the novel, I'm going to go with the racism. That it's completely boring is a close second. Oh, the only explanations I can think of for why so many reviewers are saying this is "The next Gone Girl" are A. They are being paid to say that, or B. They've never actually read Gone Girl.
Profile Image for Judy Collins.
2,683 reviews375 followers
January 28, 2020
A Killer Debut Novel! Mary Kubica’s THE GOOD GIRL will keep you entranced from the first page to the last—where nothing is, as it appears. A world of four desperate, and complex characters, with more in common than they may think.

THE GOOD GIRL takes readers from the vibrant city of Chicago to a remote rustic cabin in the forest during the cold winter of Minnesota—where two people learn to trust one another.

An intense and thought-provoking novel, ideal for book clubs and discussions. Readers will find themselves sympathizing with the two main characters, as their deepest feelings, struggles, and their dark pasts are uncovered— making for an intense page-turner mystery, you cannot put down.

In a desperate attempt for retribution, the stage is set for a flawless plan of attack—kidnapping; choices are made forever changing the lives of those involved. When fate steps in—nothing will ever be the same. Readers will be drawn into this world of intense emotion—from the alluring front cover to the funky font, carrying out the theme of this chilling and engaging tale.

Told from different POV’s (Eve, Gabe, Colin) –flashing back and forth, between before and after the kidnapping; building the suspense, keeping you on the edge of your seat, with a dramatic climatic surprise ending, when we hear from Mia- what an exciting ride!

Meet the Dennett’s, a family living in an elegant English Tudor home, along Chicago’s North Shore, a suburb near Lake Michigan, north of the city. They are filthy rich— as in most wealthy homes, not everything is as it seems on the exterior.


Eve Beautiful, mother of Mia and Grace, wife of James. A socialite, enamored with the man she married years ago; however, over the years, her marriage is less than desirable. Arrived in the US at age eighteen, from England. James is not the husband and father; he once was—has power and greed changed him? She is closer to her daughter Mia than Grace, warm and caring—she has to rethink her life and priorities when Mia is kidnapped.

James Mia’s father and husband of Eve. A high-profile and influential judge—demanding, cold, wealthy. He has lost his way, trying to keep up with the pressure from his wealthy family. He has made many enemies during his career as a judge, and many have scores to settle. He is closer to his daughter Grace, due to her drive and ambition in the legal world. He disagrees with his daughter, Mia’s life choices. He is non-supportive of his wife, even during the three months Mia is held captive (unless it involves his image or career).

Colin/Owen A good heart, and nice-looking guy---dealt an unlucky hand in life. No father figure, giving up his education to help support his sick mother, whom he loves. No way to pay for the high cost of her medicine and medical care, even working two jobs. He makes poor choices in his desperate attempt to keep his family afloat. Colin's job was to abduct Mia as part of a wild extortion plot and deliver her to his boss. However, 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/Chloe Main character, free-spirited, twenty-four-year-old, talented art teacher at inner-city alternative North Center high school. She does not follow the course her rich and powerful dad has set for her. She is rebellious, independent, yet charitable, giving her time and effort, to those less fortunate, helping homeless and troubled teens.

She dislikes her sister Grace and her demanding and controlling father. She lives in the Wrigleyville area of Chicago and easily reached via public transportation, where she lives in a small studio, modest apartment —living on her own since age eighteen, putting herself through college, refusing to live the life her father desired. Her father offers no financial or emotional support.

Gabe Detective with the Chicago Police Department leads the case of Mia’s kidnapping. A likable character, smart, tough, and knows nothing about being in love. Has a heart of gold, a diamond in the rough—helps those who cannot help themselves. Works hand in hand with Mia’s mother, Eve to help solve the case- and becomes increasingly attracted to Eve, Mia’s mother— a beautiful British woman in her early 60s. He will stop at nothing to find Mia; however, no one expects what is to come.

Grace Mia’s sister (secondary character) a senior associate at the law firm of Dalton & Meyers. Self-centered and ruthless; does not get along with her sister Mia, and does not share her views on life. She, of course, is Daddy’s little girl, since his money buys her all the things her heart desires.

With a mix of complex human dynamics, a riveting suspense thriller! Fans of Jodi Picoult, Diane Chamberlain, Liane Moriarty, Chevy Stevens, Lisa Gardner, and Tess Gerritsen will appreciate Kubica’s unique writing style, as she eloquently pulls back the tough layers piece by piece, looking deep into the soul, mind, and hearts of each of her well-developed characters. (Found myself bookmarking so many pages, as too good!).

How does each person’s past shape them into the person they are today? How does each of the character’s lives change from the beginning of the book to the end?

This dynamic novel is much more than a suspense thriller, a powerful novel—keeping readers thinking long after the book ends and the lengths a person will go, in desperation, to protect their family.

THE GOOD GIRL, hands down, a winner over Gone Girl. Highly recommend—looking forward to many more novels from this talented author (a sequel, perhaps)?

A special thank you to MIRA and NetGalley for providing an ARC, in exchange for an honest review.



Profile Image for Erin Burba.
107 reviews12 followers
September 10, 2014
Honestly? I hated this book.

The characters were flat and unlikeable, the plot was boring. Everything was a cliche.

The worst part is that it was pretty racist. One of the characters, who is black, is described as having "serpentine eyes" and being wild and unpredictable and physically threatening. The author- multiple times- mentioned whether or not there were black people around SPECIFICALLY to indicate the level of danger or the niceness of the neighborhood. It's pretty unbelievable that the book was allowed to be published with overtly racist implications. I honestly don't think that the author intended to come across this way but I don't know if that makes it better or worse.

Probably the worst book I've read this year.
Profile Image for Brooke.
284 reviews141 followers
July 3, 2017

SPOILERS BELOW. (And no, I'm so upset I won't cover the review.)

What the hell just happened? This has got to be the worst novel I've read all year. I'll be honest- I did like Kubica's PRETTY BABY & was looking forward to checking out her other titles. GOOD GIRL seemed like an intriguing thriller (I enjoyed Kubica's prose in PB & stupidly assumed this would be similar), but instead I found myself so disgusted & angry. I'm kicking myself for not reading the 1* reviews beforehand because that would have saved me from wasting my time.

I for one have never read GONE GIRL. I'm familiar with the basic premise but I have no interest in reading it. So when thrillers are advertised as the next "GG", it really means nothing to me. Perhaps that was my mistake going in. Regardless, I did like the very beginning when everything was getting set up. Kubica's tales aren't fast-paced, but gripping enough that you want to cling to every word. I listened to the audio version, which just emphasized my issues with this garbage. (Seriously, how did this even get published?!?!)

This book is filled with so many painstaking cliches- I would laugh if I wasn't so pissed. A corrupt judge who's a shitty father; a daughter who feels invisible (hence why she has an unbalanced perception on "love"); a mother who loves her child but feels like she wasn't a good enough mother (emotionally battered wife with dominant asshole husband); a dumbass detective who miraculously manages to put the pieces together; a criminal who holds a girl hostage, but surprise! He's a really good guy at heart, just a misunderstood mister.
Get. Real.

Cartoon characters don't even begin to cover the hideousness of the rest of the book. The racist overtones in this novel filled me with so much rage I threw all previous enjoyment of the beginning out the window. Kubica mentions multiple times throughout about "being the only white person in the room", associating white neighborhoods with 'safety', making all of the 'villains' black, intently stating the "Russian" doctor ("She looked Russian!"). When a black man's skin was described as being "rubbery" & comparing it to the likes of a tire, I just about vomited. I don't want this shit in my books & I'll be damned if I don't mention it. Kubica didn't deserve to have this published. This story doesn't belong anywhere other than rotting in the sewer.

FINALLY (as if that didn't make you want to drop the book altogether) we have the mother's anti-abortion soapbox. I am aware that everyone has a different view on this; I firmly believe in pro-choice. I believe in options, not cooker-cutter scenarios where each individual's life plays out the same, because it doesn't. I'm not criticising Eve's character because I know not everyone shares my view, but to hear abortion stated in such a black & white way, that all abortion is murder, regardless of circumstances made me very sad. There doesn't need to be any additional shame in whatever a woman may choose- especially when I didn't foresee it in a damn thriller. I presume these are Kubica's actual views? They're written personally enough. Obviously, this point is just a personal gripe but still fueled my fire.

On top of that, it is assumed that all women dream of having children, that it is something we think about when we're young. Guess what? We don't. To throw so many blanket statements in your novel: ('women are so blessed to procreate'; 'all abortion is murder because to hell with what the woman wants'; 'blacks have dangerous eyes & are sooo threatening')- WHY? Mary Kubica, is this how you really feel? Save me the heartache & tell me now so I don't waste my time in muddling through your other shit.

Time to touch base on the situations that occurs here. For a while it looks like this book is taking on the ever-popular trope of Stockholm Syndrome, even taking it so far as to romanticise the relationship between captor/hostage. Although wouldn't you know- time for a plot twist! Mia, no I'm sorry- CHLOE, decides that she is in love with Colin, Owen-whatever-the-hell-your-name-is. She loves him because he "saves" her, she has finally found someone to protect her. UGH. Girl, no. If you believe that you need someone to save/protect you, that you aren't capable of that on your own, you need to sort out your traumas. You need to cut the ties with Daddy & learn to build yourself up again. Instead of acknowledging that fact, we are supposed to be satisfied with their relationship, not questioning the outcome of the fallout. Because it's such a great idea to publish a book, earn money & capitalise on very real & debilitating emotions. These feelings aren't for kicks folks. These issues will haunt you for the rest of your life, will effect every decision you make, so to even offer the possibility of what Mia & Colin had to be declared "love"- it's sickening. It's offensive & it downright discredits real victims of S.S. Mia being a lovesick puppy for Colin, being happy that he swooped in & saved the day, that's all bullshit. Let's just say I wanted to slap her across the face more than once.

As for the thriller part? The predictability hits you from a mile away- the detective falling for the innocent wife; the wife somehow forgetting all her years of torment & deciding to leave her husband (as if it's as easy as choosing a cereal for breakfast); the dirty judge finally getting what he deserves. None of GOOD GIRL is redeeming, nothing that makes me think I made an acceptable reading choice. I know I say I don't ever want to discourage someone from a book, but I think that changes today. This book is so repulsive I wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole & I'm so ashamed that I didn't do a more thorough investigation prior to pissing away 9 hours of my life. Seriously. Be kind to yourself & don't pick this up.
Profile Image for Christine.
596 reviews1,182 followers
November 14, 2015
I picked up a copy of The Good Girl as the author, Ms. Mary Kubica, is scheduled for a Q&A in one of my Goodreads groups. I found this book to be an excellent debut novel and a highly enjoyable read.

The Good Girl is an almost completely character-driven story; the main players are very well developed. If you are looking for a big dose of action and/or relentless suspense, this is not the book for you. The tale is about Mia, a prominent judge’s 25-year-old daughter, who is kidnapped in Chicago and ensconced with her abductor in an isolated cabin near the Gunflint Trail in northern Minnesota. The story is told via 3 different points of views—those of Eve (Mia’s mother), Gabe (the lead detective on the case) and Colin (the kidnapper). The time frame shifts back and forth between before and after Mia’s return to Chicago (not a spoiler). Though they sound a bit daunting, I found the frequent POV changes and time shifts to be minimally disruptive.

Being allowed to enter the head of the bad guy, but not the victim was a unique experience that I quite enjoyed. The author did a terrific job in establishing Colin as a sympathetic character, though he certainly had his flaws, and I found myself rooting for him to pull off his dream plan.

Despite the lack of much suspense throughout the first 50-70% of the story, my attention never flagged as I was so interested in what the characters were going to do. The pace and tension did pick up significantly over the last 25-30%, and I was even moved to tears a few times in the last 11%.

There were a few things I did not care for. Initially I found the first person/present tense narrative a little distracting, but soon became accustomed to it. Being from Minnesota and familiar with its North Shore, I would have liked Ms. Kubica to have given her readers a “better feel” of the setting. I may be spoiled by William Kent Krueger’s command of pulling readers into the very same northern Minnesota locale, but still think Ms. Kubica could have done better with that. In addition, I thought Gabe, the lead detective, had an unrealistic amount of free time to devote to activities unrelated to the case. Finally, there were a number of times Ms. Kubica elected to tell us about conversations rather than have the characters speak. I like dialogue and would rather hear the words directly from the characters.

I want to end by saying the epilogue packed a powerful punch. Holy cow, I sure didn’t see that coming!! Nice one, Ms. Kubica!

All in all, I really enjoyed this novel and look forward to reading Ms. Kubica’s second offering, Pretty Baby. I recommend The Good Girl to all fans of psychological suspense, especially those who are willing to trade a bit of suspense for more interesting characters. I see a bright future for Mary Kubica and am very interested in seeing how she evolves as an author.
Profile Image for Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd).
332 reviews7,310 followers
January 6, 2019

Yeah, I feel like this book can be best summed up by the fact that about 60 pages in I went “oh my god the twist better not be *insert my worst idea for an ending*” and then that’s exactly how it ended
April 10, 2022
❗️ Outlier alert!! ❗️
I’ve checked out other friends reviews for this book and a lot of people really really enjoyed it so maybe this is just a ‘me thing’.
I was excited to read Kubica’s debut as I loved ‘Local Woman Missing’, however, I didn’t like it nearly as much.
The big finish wasn’t the worst as I missed the hidden clues others noticed in the book but I didn’t think it was the strongest way to end the book. I left with more questions than answers.
This book was under the ‘mystery’ section at my library, but I couldn’t find anything mysterious about it. The description of the book explained pretty much everything that happened in the book and nothing felt surprising or mysterious about it.
A lot of the book felt like we are supposed to feel sorry for Mia and Colin but it didn’t tug on my heartstrings and felt a bit forced.
I found myself bored a lot and wanting to finish so I could start a new book.
I’m hoping this was a fluke for me and am willing to read more from Kubica. I own ‘The Other Mrs.’ so once I have a chance to get around to that one, I hope I have more luck with it!! 🤞🏼
2 ⭐️
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,481 reviews79k followers
November 9, 2015
Well. I'm not sure whether to give this book a 3 or 4 star rating, so we'll call it a 3.5.

Short synopsis: Mia is kidnapped by Colin. Colin is supposed to turn her over to those he works for. Colin decides to keep her in remote cabin instead. We spend entire novel trying to put together the pieces of this story as it is told out of order.

Things I liked: I enjoyed the story being told out of order and by 3 different POV. To me, this kept things fresh and moving quickly. The chapters were short which made for a quick read as the story was able to hold my attention. I also was impressed that this was a debut novel; I found it well said and put together nicely for a first shot.

Things I didn't like: I'm not sure that I can stress enough how much I hate every other novel being compared as "the next Gone Girl". To me, it set me up for slight disappointment and also gave away "the big twist". I was expecting it coming because of this blurb which made me a little angry and unsatisfied with the ending.This also caused me to expect a super intense/suspenseful novel, and while it definitely had an air of mystery and a little suspense, I wouldn't rank it up there with a Flynn novel.

Overall I enjoyed the read, but it was nothing memorable or unique by any means. Would recommend for those in the mood for a quick read that can hold your attention with mild violence.
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,987 followers
February 1, 2019
I liked it, I didn't love it.

This probably could have been a short story/novella. It's not a long book, but for me it was longer than it needed to be. It just felt like a lot of plot points were drug out.

Also, I figured it all out very close to the beginning of the book. This is not me bragging! Usually this type of mysterious book keeps me guessing until the end. But, right after I started I turned to my wife, told her that it seems like this is what is going to happen, and it was exactly what happened. 99% of the time books in this genre are written in such a way that what it makes you think will happen is just to throw you off. This time, it progressed as expected so there was no surprise.

However, I did really enjoy the writing. It was easy to get into the story and the way that the multiple viewpoints we're presented in different timeframes was pretty cool. I look forward to trying out Kubica again in the future.

I have mentioned before, it seems like there is definitely a "'Girl' In the Title" genre, and this fits the mold pretty well. If you like those books, be sure to try this!
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,010 reviews600 followers
October 28, 2014
2.7 Rating
Jaw Dropping enthralling? No!
Pulsates with Suspense? No!
Heart-pounding mystery? No!

I kept thinking if *Annie*, (kidnapped in the novel, "STILL MISSING"), and *Mia*, abducted in "The Good Girl", met for coffee, they'd become GREAT FRIENDS.... sharing 'CABIN STORIES' together. haha!

The writing style in "The Good Girl" --starts off engaging in the beginning-- then soon becomes annoying.
Its no longer a novelty to see an author write a novel from three different points of view. It seemed the only purpose for these 3-points of view was to delay telling the punch line. (I started to feel impatient, bored, and annoyed).
Then, the ridiculous ending destroyed 'all' integrity of this story. Much like the silly ending in "STILL MISSING".

Mia's mother, *Eve*, (repressed trophy wife), was the only person I had 'some' sympathy & compassion for because she at least seemed to take a look at her personal responsibility for being a mother. Before the kidnapping she was a wife without-a-voice, a neglectful mom. She allowed her dominate husband the parenting leader role,
After the kidnapping, *Eve* sincerely worked at transforming herself -- wanting to be a better mother to her daughter. Plus --She began to find her own voice for herself again!

THIS WOULD NOT happen --EVER ----(the author could not get me to believe this no matter what)!!!
NO WAY would we EVER see a JUDGE --(a white middle Class Man --Educated -JUDGE) --be sent behind bars and disbarred ----as we did in this story. It made NO SENSE. There was not have enough of ANYTHING to merit that outcome. (it was just silly).

One more note: I hate to even write this --(as I don't notice it often) ---but it didn't feel right to notice a racist/slant- description in this book. (I'm guessing its not in her heart of this author) ---but I would hope she might be more careful with her next book.

When everything else is done being said ---(good/bad...etc.)
I would also like to offer my congrats to the author. This was her first book!!! Congrats on THAT!!!! May she enjoy the experience of her success ---and may we read many more of her books!

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Liz.
2,145 reviews2,760 followers
February 10, 2018
Mia is the 25 year old daughter of a Chicago judge. She is kidnapped, but the kidnapper changes his mind and doesn’t turn her over to the person that ordered the crime. Eventually, she is returned home but is in a total fog as to what has happened. The story is told by multiple narrators, and moves back and forth from before and after her return. The one person you never hear directly from is Mia herself, until the very end.

It’s a character driven book, not big on action. It raises some interesting questions at the end, concerning things like Stockholm Syndrome.

The book isn’t a great mystery. I could tell what was going to happen and knew who the “bad guy” was well in advance of the ending. But It kept me engaged on long car rides. A solid 3 stars.
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,482 reviews7,778 followers
September 10, 2015
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

It’s the next Gone Girl!!!!

Chicago commercial photographers

Trust me Amy, we ALL want to punch you two in the face at this point.

Okay, so like errrrrrry other book that claimed it was going to be the “next Gone Girl” – this one wasn’t. However, momma likey the new Harlequin dark and seedy romance genre : )

Since this was a mystery/thriller I won’t say much for fear that I’ll give too much away. The basic premise has been done a time or two before:

Colin Thatcher is a gun-for-hire type of criminal (with a heart of gold - because OF COURSE, right?) who has been assigned the task of . . .

Chicago commercial photographers

kidnapping Mia Dennett, but when a case of guilty conscience gets to Colin before he can turn Mia over to the real bad guy he hightails it to a cabin in the woods, with Mia in tow. It’s there that we follow the wibbly wobbly timeline in order to piece the whole story together. It’s also there that Mia gets a case of Stockholm Syndrome resulting in . . .

“The last time I pushed her away, but the last time was different. She was a different woman. I was a different man.”

and then some . . .

Chicago commercial photographers

Obviously if that’s not your idea of a good time, you should go ahead and skip this one. I’m giving it 3 Stars because I think it was a right place/right time read for me. It was a real slow roller with just enough ewwww factor to get me back in Mitchell’s good graces after a porntastic couple of weeks. And also for that ending . . .

^^^^Did I get you???? Ha! I kill me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Profile Image for Dem.
1,190 reviews1,131 followers
February 6, 2015
The Good Girl by Mary Kubica was a well written debut novel with a plot that is intereting enough to keep the reader turning the pages

The story is told from multiple perspectives and is quite easy to follow. This is the sort of book that provides enough suspense to keep you reading and yet by the end you finish with a somewhat sigh of relief and while it was good you are left feeling it could have been better if..................

While I liked the book I kept comparing it to Still Missing which I had read last year and gave it the same rating.

I think the plot fell down in places and I am not sure this is one I would recommend. It was one of those book that I liked but not really one for my favorites list.
Profile Image for Sandysbookaday .
2,049 reviews2,105 followers
November 24, 2016
It's not that Mia was a particularly good girl - she was pretty normal really; got drunk as a teenager, did all the normal things that most of us do. But she had a good heart, a kind heart.

She's not particularly close to her family, but that's normal in the first flight of independence, and they don't understand her anyway. She is not a high achiever like her sister Grace. She is a disappointment to her father, a judge.

Even when the school where she teaches phones to say Mia hasn't shown for work and they are unable to contact her, her family are unconcerned. But they will be......

This is my second Mary Kubica read in a short time, and I loved it. It is a kidnapping. With a twist. Or two.

I find it very easy to get very involved in Kubica's characters. Her plots are twisty and contain a little of everything. Kubica is fast becoming one of my favourite authors.

Profile Image for Clumsy Storyteller .
350 reviews726 followers
June 22, 2016
Maaan, This book is really a good twisty dark novel .The ending was heartbreaking and infuriating , I was so mad and upset when I finished it I literally did throw it across the room ! The story is about Mia, a 25 year old girl who is kidnapped from a bar, Colin/Owen is hired to kidnap Mia and deliver her to Dalmar , Colin was following Mia for a really long time before making any move toward her A one-sentence summary " Simple abductions suddenly become much more complicated".

Profile Image for Barbara.
1,393 reviews4,903 followers
September 6, 2020

Mia Dennett - an inner-city art teacher who grew up in a wealthy, prominent Chicago family.....

.....is abducted by Colin Thatcher, a low-level thug who collects debts and does odd jobs for his criminal employer.

Instructed to kidnap Mia and hand her over, Colin snatches the girl. He then has a change of heart and takes Mia to a primitive cabin in the Minnesota woods where he holds her for months.

The living conditions are horrific: it's freezing; bathing and clothes-washing are minimal, so their bodies reek; there's little food; there's nothing to do; and Mia is terrorized by her abductor.

Colin, meanwhile, knows that if they're found - by either the cops or his employer - his life is essentially (or literally) over.

The book is told from rotating points of view: Gabe - the detective assigned to the case;

Eve - Mia's mother;

Colin - the kidnapper; and Mia - the abductee. It also alternates between two time periods: before Mia is rescued and after Mia is rescued. This type of thing could get confusing but the author handles it skillfully and it's easy to follow the story. The book has an interesting premise and kept my attention (to a point) because I wanted to find out the circumstances of Mia's rescue. That said, however, the book moves excruciatingly slowly.

As the book proceeds the characters talk a lot about their backgrounds, and they all have a sad story. Eve's husband (Mia's father), a judge, was distant and controlling, concerned only with his career and public image.

Mia was a neglected child who could never please her father. Colin grew up poor but had a loving mother; when she got seriously ill his life fell apart. Gabe's a lonely guy without a family. And so on. The characters also provide detailed descriptions of their hour to hour activities and interact in a variety of ways, some of which are frankly not believable. I kept hoping the action would perk up and the plot would get more interesting, but it never did.

It's hard to drum up much sympathy for any of these characters. I did like Gabe, a talented, caring detective who was determined to find Mia and bring the perpetrators to justice. Many readers probably won't be surprised by the book's ending which is telegraphed at several points in the story. I thought the book was just okay. For me it doesn't live up to the hype which seems to surround it.

You can follow my reviews at http://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot.com/
Profile Image for Blaine.
782 reviews657 followers
December 15, 2021
But mostly I think of the things I didn’t do.
Well, that's 10 hours of my life I'll never get back. I thought about stopping several times, but then I admitted to myself that I enjoy writing the occasional negative, catty review.

Be warned. Spoilers ahead.

I'm not even sure where to start. Gillian Flynn makes this type of book look easy, but it's not. The writing in The Good Girl is clunky and cliché. First-person writing is hard, so trying it in a debut novel is escalating the degree of difficulty. In this book, it fails. Eve is ok, and seems believably sad about her missing daughter. But Colin sounds absurd, never understanding why his kidnap victim might not like him (“She hates everything about me.” No shit, Sherlock, you kidnapped her!). And Gabe sounds like a parody of a detective instead of an actual one.

The plot of The Good Girl is also rather absurd. Who would hire a novice for a kidnapping? Wouldn't even a novice know to take her cell phone from her? Even accepting that Colin changed his mind about giving Mia to Delmar, there's no believable reason for him to take Mia with him when he goes on the run. And why does he keep taking her wherever he goes, instead of just leaving her tied up in the cabin? And then there's the nonsense about one Chicago cop—not the FBI—investigating the kidnapping of a judge's daughter.

Finally, there's the epilogue. First, it is strange that the epilogue is the only time we hear Mia's side. I know why—the big “twist” which was completely predictable, perhaps as early as reading the reversed “R” in the title. But it's not a good sign when 98% of your book tells one story, and then you try to completely revise everything in the last 10 pages. Worse, the revision fundamentally doesn't even make sense. If Mia thought her Dad hated her, why would he pay a ransom for her fake kidnapping?

The Good Girl, unfortunately, has a boring plot, two absurd main characters, and an ending that mocks a reader who wasn't mocking the book first. Avoid, unless you enjoy hate-reading badly written melodrama.
Profile Image for Kristina Coop-a-Loop.
1,227 reviews486 followers
December 11, 2017
Mary Kubica’s The Good Girl is the perfect summer read for a sleepy brain. The plot is as flimsy and unsubstantial as a bikini, the characters as flat as the ideal toned stomach, and the racist prose is as fun as slurping on a piña colada. What’s not to love about this book? Turns out, for an intelligent reader, just about everything. While I don’t wish to offend, this is one of those books that is objectively awful and any reader who praises it must have read it quickly, with half a brain, and with one eye (or ear) open. Aside from the technical problems of inane dialogue, plodding pace, dumb plot and one-dimensional characters, I suspect the author used this book as a platform to express her personal prejudices. The characters aren’t expressing racist thoughts, the author is. This book angered and disgusted me. Once again, shame on the publisher (Harlequin/MIRA Books).

Mia Dennett is the daughter of wealthy judge James Dennett and his wife, Eve. They live in Chicago. One night, when Mia is at a bar waiting to be joined by her sometime boyfriend, Jason, she vanishes. Her parents report her missing and Detective Gabe Hoffman is assigned to the case. Meanwhile, Mia is being held captive at a secluded cabin in the woods by Colin Thatcher, a desperate man making desperate choices. The book switches between a “before” and “after” timeline and alternates character POV. Eventually, past events merge with the present and the truth of the kidnapping is revealed.

The convoluted structure of the book, presenting different POV from before the kidnapping and after Mia is rescued, actually gives the book what little suspense it possesses. Long after I’d decided the book sucked ass, I kept reading. I wanted to see how the rescue of Mia would happen, along with the inevitable “twist” that would turn the plot on its head. It’s this plot twist that probably earned this book’s comparisons to Gillian Flynn’s excellent Gone Girl. The only similarities these two books share: they both contain words. That��s it. Flynn is an excellent writer with an expert command of language, plot and suspense. Kubica merely assembled letters into words, and words into crappy sentences.

For 99.9% of the book, the story is presented through the eyes of Eve Dennett, Det. Gabe Hoffman and Colin Thatcher. Mia, although she is the center of the story, is present only as a passive figure discussed and observed. By the time she does speak for herself (to reveal the not-so-surprising twist), you don’t give a damn. All the characters are one-dimensional. The judge, Mia’s father, has the role of Bad Daddy. Even though he cared for her as a child, when she got older and expressed her art-loving, independent ways, he hated her. Mia describes him as coming from a wealthy family and having “enough money to feed a small country.” Eve and Mia’s descriptions match nearly word-for-word: “Image meant everything to him” and “Image is everything to him.” Readers are hammered over the head with this message: the judge is a bully who punishes anyone who disagrees with him and will do anything to protect his reputation. Why is he like this? Well, readers, don’t worry your pretty little heads over that. All we need to know is that he is a TERRIBLE PERSON and we should hate him and feel sympathy for Eve and Mia.

I have no sympathy for Eve. She is a limp noodle of a woman. Our first glimpse of what a useless mother she is comes immediately when a friend and co-worker of Mia’s calls Eve to say that Mia is missing. Eve’s response is to gaze out the window in her usual coma-like manner and say to her daughter’s friend: “Oh, don’t worry about it. I don’t talk to Mia for weeks at a time. She’s around somewhere.” Eve is, by her own accounts, a bad mother, a useless homemaker (that’s a job best left to the hired help) and enjoyed being the judge’s trophy wife. Her everyday life is spent being passive and agreeing with her husband’s wishes, even if what he wants is not in the best interests of her children, specifically Mia. When she’s sad because her daughter is missing, she breaks dishes and counts ladybugs: “I try to count them all, but they scatter away, and more come, and it’s impossible to keep track. I don’t know how long I watch them. I wonder what the ladybugs will do for the winter. Will they die?” (172) That sentence sums up the intellectual capabilities and personality of Eve.

Colin, who tells Mia he is Owen, is basically a whiner. All of his chapters center on his woe-is-me sob stories of his youth. His father beat his mother and abandoned them. He and his mother had no money and were often homeless. No one loved him. He turned to a life of crime to help support his sick mother because being a dishwasher wasn’t paying the bills. But he’s Robin Hood. He takes only from the undeserving rich and gives to the poor (himself and Ma). He agreed to kidnap Mia for the badly needed cash, but when he saw the pretty white girl, he thought, oh, no, when I give this white girl to the bad black man, he’s going to rape her and maybe kill her. I better kidnap her myself to save her from being kidnapped by him. Plus, I’ll threaten to kill her almost daily, I’ll tie her up, and I’ll punch her and scare her. But hey, I’m white and really, I have a heart of gold, so she’s better off with me than that terrible black man. Mia, over time, grows to love him because she listens to his pathetic stories of neglect. For good measure, the author throws in “young tender-hearted Colin scarred by seeing Bambi shot on hunting trip with gun-happy murderous hunters” and “young Colin, playing cops and robbers with friend’s father’s gun, shoots friend (but doesn’t kill him—he’s not murderer, just a misunderstood child)” stories. Poor Colin. Are we sympathetic yet? Do we love him and like the creepy romance he begins with Mia?

Detective Gabe Hoffman is a stereotypical Italian cop. He envies the wealth of the Dennetts, knows how to make lasagna (from helping dear Ma), is puzzled by big words like “enigmatic,” and even chomps down Italian sandwiches at his desk. He is of the working class (oh, shudder) and behaves accordingly: the tough, educationally-challenged cop who cares, oh, so much. Det. Hoffman is the only source of (unintentional) humor in the book. On page 352, he says that due to his “superior detective work,” he wraps up the case of Mysterious Missing Mia. Of course, he’s missed a lot so his patting himself on the back like that is absolutely hysterical. Also, Hoffman is weirdly concerned about his ass and who may be kicking it. Page 36, when questioning Jason, Mia’s sort of boyfriend: “I might get my ass kicked.” Page 94, a bartender: “He knows he could kick my ass if he wanted to.” Page 333, Det. Roger Hammill: “On a normal day he could kick my ass if he wanted to.” What the fuck is up with all the probable ass-kicking? Hoffman is an inadequate detective who makes snap judgements of people with little or no evidence to base those judgments on and the whole investigation is conducted in a highly unlikely manner. I don’t blame him for that. The author has no fucking idea of what a police investigation entails and didn’t bother to do any research.

Kubica’s lack of research and inability to think logically is revealed by the idiotic plot and how the investigation is conducted. Here’s a list:

1. The readers know that Colin paid Jason not to show up at the bar that night so that he, Colin, could pick up Mia and take her back to his place. Ridiculous and improbable. Colin would be linking himself to Mia’s abduction. He knows Jason ditches Mia a lot; just wait for that and grab her then.

2. Jason doesn’t tell Hoffman he was paid to ditch Mia. Why? Jason appears to be a jerk who doesn’t care for her, but that’s inadequate. A normal human reaction would be to tell the police, even if his motive is self-serving (“I didn’t do it, this guy who paid me off did it!”)

3. Hoffman learns Colin’s identity by pulling fingerprints from an apartment that may or may not be HIS apartment. Again, ridiculous. Anyone at any time could have been in that apartment; finding a decent (and recent) set of fingerprints is unlikely and an accurately portrayed detective wouldn’t have tried. He would, instead, have traced Colin through the apartment lease or personal papers found in the apartment.

4. When Colin’s phone records are pulled, Hoffman learns that he was paid to kidnap Mia. How? Because the criminal in charge left several voicemails explaining this. Because that’s what experienced criminals do: they leave detailed messages about their crimes.

5. Hoffman eventually learns of a connection between the Thatcher family and Grand Marais, Minnesota. Does he follow up this lead? No. Why not? No reason.

6. When (through various helpful coincidences) Hoffman tracks Colin and Mia to an isolated cabin near Grand Marais, does he have the local PD rescue her? Nope. She’s in the hands of a dangerous (so they think) criminal and possibly dying of pneumonia, but he orders them to sit on their hands and wait while he drives from Chicago to the wilds of Minnesota on Christmas Eve in a snow storm. Yes, because that’s so plausible.

7. This isn’t a plot hole, but shows the author’s lack of research:

8. The idea that the Grand Marais police would bother to look for a stray cat in the woods and then, when that exact cat is found, fly that cat to Chicago—on its own plane!—(248, 281) is just so fucking stupid.

9. On page 351, Mia makes a vague comment that she remembers the kidnapping had something to do with ransom (duh) and James (her father, the judge). Hoffman yells, “I knew it!” Based on this, and this alone, Hoffman

10. Mia’s reasons for

I would love to go into the many examples of Kubica’s lack of feeling for language and how she consistently uses words incorrectly (faux pas, page 359, is hilarious). I would also love to point out the many clichés she employs (“greatest thing since sliced bread,” etc.) and cite examples of agonizingly bad dialogue and prose. Kubica doesn’t clearly delineate who is saying what and quite often has Character A expressing the thoughts and feelings of Character B—something character A couldn’t know unless he or she reads minds. It’s quite jarring to read a sentence like this: “This is it, she thinks, too disoriented to hear what I’m saying” (104). This is Colin expressing Mia’s thoughts, thoughts Colin cannot know. Omniscient third person, Kubica. Look it up. This book is 361 pages of awfulness. The racism is just an extra treat.

There’s a difference between racist characters created by the author and a book reflecting an author’s racist beliefs. This book is an example of the latter. Dalmar, the bad man who hires Colin, is black. While Colin is a criminal, he is white and his crimes are motivated by good intentions. Dalmar is merely evil. The racism is very clear:

1. “It’s a relatively good neighborhood…a mostly Caucasian population with an average monthly rent over a thousand dollars” (25).

2. Hoffman brings backup with him because he’s going to a “diverse” neighborhood of “men and women who just stepped off the boat…Regardless of its diversity, nearly half the population of Uptown is still white. It’s relatively safe to walk around at night” (165).

3. Homophobic/sexist: Hoffman is working with a female cop who he describes as “butch” and nicknames “Butch.” There’s no reason for this woman to be “butch” other than the fact that she is a female police officer (166).

4. Xenophobia: “An Indian man who barely speaks three words of English” (209).

5. A description of Gary, Indiana as a “hellhole” because the population is poor and “there is a large African-American population” (209). When he has to use the bathroom at a gas station in Gary, he runs to it, “grateful for the arsenal hiding beneath my clothes” (209).

6. Mia discussing one of her students. The student, while portrayed in a positive light, is identified as “this black kid.” The ONLY positive depiction of a person of color in the entire book (221).

7. Dalmar’s blackness is very thoroughly described: he is “blacker than anything I’ve ever seen” (56); “His eyes were black, like coal, his skin dark and rubbery, like tires” (357). “His voice…held on to its African enunciation for dear life” (358); “He was black, like the blackest of bears, like the blubbery skin of the killer whale, an alpha predator” (358). “I looked into his black serpentine eyes, at the shaven head and a scar” (361).

8. Mia

9. General wtf-ery: Hoffman knows nothing about Colin (including his name) but makes a whole lot of assumptions about what kind of person he is and his family background. Specifically mentioned is that Colin turned out to be a criminal because his family didn’t go to church and “didn’t pray before dinner” (131). So, Kubica, if not being religious causes criminal behavior, please explain to me pedophile priests.

One last comment about Stockholm syndrome. I'm not going to debate if that's why Mia fell in love with Colin (I don't think it is). My point is, her psychologist/psychiatrist Dr. Rhodes diagnoses Mia as suffering from this disorder. Again, shitty research. A quick Google search reveals that Stockholm syndrome is a term coined by the media and is NOT a recognized psychiatric disorder. Fire Dr. Rhodes. She's clearly not a qualified therapist.

The last word in this book is both fucking stupid and hilarious. Mia

The Good Girl is a bad book. The author is tone deaf as to the subtlety of words and meaning. The dialogue is excruciating. The pacing is sleepy. POV is inconsistent. The investigation is not believable. The plot is holey. The characters are incomplete and don’t realistically portray human emotions. Most horribly, Kubica displays her own prejudices throughout the novel. Not only will I avoid this author in the future, I’ll avoid any books released by this publisher.
Profile Image for Adrienne.
516 reviews121 followers
September 4, 2020
Superb thriller. How she drew the characters, as the story progressed, outstanding. The story was told from multiple points if view. And a before and after aspect. This way of writing whipped up the pace.
I did not guess the ending.
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