By Brittany Miller – Features Editor
Scandalous, thrilling, suspenseful and overall mind-boggling are just a few words that describe Mary Kubica’s debut novel, “The Good Girl” (352 pages, $18.54). Through multiple points of view and the occasional use of unnecessary imagery that came with too many details, Kubica created a new type of mystery that will leave readers with never ending questions, and an ending that might make them throw the book across the room.
In “The Good Girl,” Mia Dennett walks into a bar to meet her completely self absorbed, on and off again boyfriend Jason, but when he doesn’t show up, she comes face to face with Colin Thatcher. What seems like a typical guy-meets-girl-in-a-bar-and-they-go-home-together kind of tale, soon takes a twisted and frightening turn.
Colin was hired for a simple mission: take the girl to Dalmar, his employer, where she would stay until her father, a successful Chicago judge, payed the ransom. But Colin makes another call and instead takes Mia to a secluded cabin deep in the woods of Minnesota.
With Detective Gabe Hoffman investigating, Mia’s mother Eve is hoping for her daughter’s return home, but nothing will prepare the Dennett family for the secrets that could shatter them altogether.
Kubica did something I haven’t seen from an author before, and that was creating a new perspective, something different from the typical kidnapping mystery. This wasn’t the annoying, bad guy-damsel in distress situation, this was something more. No one was innocent in the story, no one had my fingers crossed, hoping for them to prevail in the end.
At some points throughout the 352 pages of this book, I found myself frustrated at the somewhat obvious events that occurred, as they left no element of surprise for me as a reader. However, Kubica was quite clever in her writing. Every time I felt like I was losing interest, she hit me with an unexpected moment of suspense every few chapters.
When it comes to the matter of point of view, some readers might find the back and forth time lapse that is presented with each character confusing, like I did at the beginning, but once the story keeps moving forward, it becomes easier to understand. Her unique writing style provides readers with the chance to dive into the souls, minds and hearts of each character, as everything changes throughout the apex of time that Kubica created. Though these different perspectives give insight into the minds of characters readers wouldn’t normally hear from, it was still missing the most important perspective, Mia’s. She is the center of the story, yet readers will only hear from her in the very last chapter.
“The Good Girl” though a somewhat frustrating novel, was a breath of fresh air for readers who don’t want a slowly progressing, ripping your hair out type of story. Staying up until 3 a.m. reading page after page, I found myself completely baffled by how the story unraveled, and I couldn’t let go. Kubica left me wondering how the story would end. When I got to the last page I was completely shocked, wishing for more pages.
I highly recommend diving into the minds of these characters, and experiencing the ‘on your toes’ feeling that comes with reading “The Good Girl.” Not everything is perfect in the life of the rich, and you never know how far one will go to secure their image.
Click here for a Q&A with Mary Kubica, author of “The Good Girl.”