THE GOOD GIRL by Mary Kubica

Publisher: Mira
Release Date: July 29, 2014
Source: Kindle purchase
Rating: ★★★★½

“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.

An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller, The Good Girl is a propulsive debut that reveals how even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems.

I enjoyed reviewing Mary Kubica’s second novel, PRETTY BABY, so I decided to give her first book a try. Loved it! (Maybe even a smidge more than PRETTY BABY.) I would describe THE GOOD GIRL as subtle suspense, with a uniquely constructed plot and an intriguing story.

Mia, the twenty-something daughter of a rich Chicago judge, is kidnapped. The hired kidnapper, Colin, has a change of heart and hides her away in a cabin instead of giving her to his employers as planned. At the same time, Mia’s distraught mother (Eve) and a police detective (Gabe) search tirelessly to find out what became of Mia.

The bulk of the story is told by Eve, Gabe, and Colin in alternating viewpoints, as well as switching between a “Before” and an “After.” Setting the plot up this way made me even more curious about what ultimately happened in the cabin. The characters are well developed, and the author gives the right amount of backstory to each one so we know what brought them to this place and time.

I thought the twist at the end was so good. Well, sad and emotional, but also good. I certainly wasn’t expecting it.