The Good Girl
by Mary Kubica
One of my good friends recommended The Good Girl, so it was without hesitation that I started reading it. This book is a thriller and I read it rapidly. It was so good and the ending was a total surprise. I’m still thinking about this book and trying to make sense of it. I am very impressed with Kubica’s debut novel and I can’t wait to read her next book.
This is a story of the disappearance of, Mia, a young woman from a prominent family. She has friends and a great job, so her disappearance is curious and alarming. The story is told from 3 different perspectives: Gabe, the detective; Eve, Mia’s mother; and Colin, the man who kidnapped Mia. The story also oscillates from “before” they find Mia and “after” she is found. It sounds jumpy, but it actually flows beautifully, keeping the tension while giving answers and pieces to the mystery. Spoilers: kidnapping Mia is an accident. Colin was hired to deliver her to a man, but he knows nothing more. He gets close, but finds he can’t hand her over. He never asked for this; he just needs money to take care of his ailing mother. So, instead of handing over Mia, he takes her to a hidden cabin where they slowly begin to trust each other and eventually fall in love. It’s little things like Colin giving Mia his gun and Mia choosing to stay, it’s Colin buying a notebook and pencils for Mia to sketch and Mia opening up about her life, it’s the two of them chopping down a Christmas tree and making plans to stay together. It’s an eerie and beautiful love story and I shamelessly routed for it. Meanwhile, Gabe refuses to give up on the case, even when it seems to go cold. He is slowly falling for Eve and she with him (her husband is a horrible man to both her and to Mia). Eventually, Gabe succeeds in finding Mia, but they’re not in his jurisdiction, so another chief gets to the scene first and instead of calmly taking them in, he shoots Colin to save Mia. It’s heartbreaking. Afterwards, Mia blocks out Colin completely and has no memory of her captivity. Gabe steadily works on how to trigger the memories and eventually finds the cat that Mia had at the cabin and brings him to her, as well as finally taking her to the cabin itself. Sure enough, when they arrive at the cabin the memories flood back and Mia is able to remember all that happened. It’s bittersweet. She’d like to forget, but she is pregnant and now she has a piece of Colin to hold onto. Major spoiler: the final piece, the jaw dropper, is that Mia blames herself for Colin’s death. Why? Because she hired the man who hired Colin to kidnap her. Mia was constantly put down by her father and disappointing him. He refused to pay for her education when she chose not to be a lawyer (her sister did follow in their father’s footsteps and he paid for law school), and was always more concerned with his reputation than Mia’s well being. He was nefarious and selfish both at work and home. Mia finally had enough. She dug up dirt on her father to use as blackmail when her captors demanded a ransom. While Mia’s plan was derailed, after she is found Gabe searches her father’s office, finding the blackmail letters and a lot of dirt, putting Mia’s father in his place (disbarred and on trial – he’s a judge). It was a satisfactory ending on that level. I was also happy that Colin’s mother got taken care of since she was so sick and helpless. But I was so sad that Colin died. I’m still sad about it.
Summing it up: I really liked this book. I loved the plot and the twist and the characters. I’m still haunted by them and thinking about them. I definitely recommend this book.
All the best, Abbey