A Page-turning, Dark Mystery
Title: The Good Girl
Author: Mary Kubica
You ever read a book that makes you feel guilty for feeling sympathy for the villain? You know those stories, where you get caught up in your own moral compass wondering why your heart is tinkering a bit for the person in the tale you are supposed to loathe. You find yourself hoping that the bad guy gets some good guy relief at the end, knowing that their actions may not seem they deserve as such.
I found this to be my biggest dilemma while reading Mary Kubica’s mystery novel The Good Girl, published in 2014. First off, I’ve said this before and I will say it again, I love books that are told in multiple points of view- when done right. I just think it adds multiple dimensions to a story and provides a deeper character development that allows you to connect with who you are reading about more. I love getting inside various minds all going through the same things. I find it more exciting, and Kubica does this well.
The story follows a woman named Mia who goes out to a bar to meet her boyfriend when she ends up connecting with a stranger named Colin after she gets stood up. What she thought would be a harmless one-night stand turns out to be her abduction- and it seems like it was well planned in advance.
Kubica definitely put together a page turner with this debut novel, and the dark mystery behind it leaves you craving for more as you get to the end of every chapter. Mia is a woman with strong will and a free spirit who you instantly latch to and want the best for. She’s got sass mixed with vulnerability that we women can definitely relate to.
But Colin! What a rollercoaster of emotions when it comes to this character. I don’t want to give too much away as too many spoilers would just defeat the purpose of reading it, but Kubica has a way of evolving who he is to the audience in a way that doesn’t really paint him as a villain at all, despite the fact that he is. I was questioning myself, feeling as if rooting for him may have been hurting Mia (like I know them personally, or something), yet I ended up just loving her more when I realized how easy it was for her to see his humane side too! And she was the one he abducted!
If I could complain about one thing, it would almost be that I wanted so much more of Mia and Colin and could have done without the other points of view. You hear from Colin, Eve (Mia’s mother) and Gabe (the lead detective on Mia’s case), and though all were informative and helped bring the plot along, I almost would have rather the story have been told from Mia and Colin’s perspective only, elaborating more on the two of them.
But, needless to say, that is not the case, and I do not think it hindered my ability to say it was a great read overall. Some compare it to Gone Girl, and I just don’t personally see it. Other than the fact that it is a mystery involving a woman, I don’t really connect the two. I do think they stand apart, though are both great stories.
I wouldn’t say the book was jam-packed with suspense, but it never waivered in keeping you on your toes. There was a steady pace throughout that definitely picked up at the end and you felt every bit of the tension that was coming. It was one of those stories that got my heart beating for the last few chapters to see how it would all wrap up.
Plus, who doesn’t love a twisting ending that makes you say, “I didn’t see that one coming.”? Kubica does well to give us that moment, and I can honestly say I did not expect the ending I got. It did leave me wanting more in some senses, but I was able to be satisfied with what I got for its conclusion.
Character-driven books always reel me in, and I am still feeling a sense of connection to the characters Kubica created for us. You’ve got the headstrong female who is trying to claim her independence and the guy who ended up on the wrong side of the tracks by way of circumstance. There was a sense of involvement that could have only come from great writing, so Mary Kubica should pat herself on the back- especially knowing this is her first novel. What a way to come in with a bang, Kubica!
I was riveted by The Good Girl, and I am curious to see if you will be as pleasantly surprised and captivated as I was. Let me know if you give it a shot!
You can purchase Mary Kubica’s, The Good Girl here.