“I’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 color of her eyes or what they look like when she’s scared. But I will.”
Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn’t show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. With his smooth moves and modest wit, 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.
Colin’s job was to abduct Mia as part of a wild extortion plot and deliver her to his employers. But 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’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.
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….
Yes, yet another Contemporary Bomy Award of Excellence for this year! I know, right? Shocking!! Apparently this is the year of Contemporary for me, lol.
Let’s start with the obvious reasons for which I wanted to read this novel. You saw that cover and read the blurb, right? Well, then you know my reasons. My reaction to the presentation was “NEED. THIS. NOW!!!”.
I love stories about these so-called perfect families, all successful and rich and with good reputations, because there’s always a lot of filth and rot to explore there, and you know they’ve been sweeping it under the carpet to keep those hideously immaculate appearances 😀 The Good Girl did not disappoint in that regard, not at all.
I was slightly deflated when I started reading it though, because it became apparent very quickly that this is one of those more-than-one POV, more-than-the-one timeline. I don’t generally like that, and it’s a present tense narrative to boot, even if first person – you guys know I don’t often react well to this combo. The POVs are Mia Dennett’s mom, Eve, the detective investigating Mia’s disappearance, Gabe Hoffman, Colin Thatcher’s aka Owen’s (you’ll get why the aka as you read this baby, which you should do, asap!), and finally Mia’s. And though I don’t generally like multiple POVs, and more than the one timeline, and present tense, trust me – this is freaking amazeballs!!
The characters are very interesting, and it’s a really complex perspective on the story since we get to see it from the few relevant POVs. I was ambivalent toward Eve, Gabe was cool but I can’t say I loved the guy, hated the hell out of Mia’s father as soon as he made an entrance, and I had a strange sort of soft spot for Colin and Mia together, though I can’t say I properly loved either one of them on their own. Moreover, by the end of the read, I freaking hated Mia’s guts, let me tell you. All the sympathy I felt toward her, all the tears I shed – yes, I cried, you had to know already, all my Bomy Award of Excellences make me cry, lol! – and all my wishes for her to pull through and do well when it’s all over, they all became this almost rancid hate, mixed in with sympathy, and dread, and … Gawd!! All these FEELS!!!
The story seemed somewhat predictable up to one point, I mean you get the hint of the possible Stockholm Syndrome, which is what made me want to read in the first place so obviously I’m a fan of forays into those complex emotional mechanisms and manifestations. But then as things progressed, I couldn’t shake the feeling there was something more, something really A-HA! about this story that was yet to come. And it did, at the very end. I mean, you read the whole novel thinking you’ve pretty much got the gist of the story, and then comes Mia’s POV and it freaking blows your brains out!! Just brainsplatter, mindgasm material, okay? Freaking brilliant!!
This is a goddamn brilliant story, even if at the very beginning I had my doubts. But it sucked me in, doubts and all, and delivered a memorable story, with deliciously screwed up, flawed, and totally nonredeemable characters, a rather gutsy bittersweet ending – fully appropriate for this sort of story.
This baby goes up there on my all-time favorite reads, just as Alice Close Your Eyes by Averil Dean did last year, published by the same Harlequin imprint. I foresee a long-lasting love affair here xDDD