On a vacation whim, I picked up what I think is Mary Kubica’s very first book from 2014. I was intrigued by the cover, but I’ve also seen her latest book, Every Last Lie, everywhere! I was on vacation, so I thought I should be spontaneous. I was rewarded with a fun read while hanging out on family vacation.
When I marked the book as “read” on Goodreads there were a lot of reviews that mentioned being disappointed with the book because they were expecting a Gone Girl experience. I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t read Gone Girl, but I’ve found it often isn’t fair to compare books to other bestsellers. Someone will always be disappointed.
I know how betrayal and disillusionment feel, when someone who could give you the world refuses even a tiny piece of it.–Mary Kubica, The Good Girl
So, the story is told in two timelines. The events leading up to and the events right after the kidnapping of Mia Dennett. The story is told from multiple points-of-view. Detective Gabe Hoffman is investigating the kidnapping. Eve Dennett, the stay-at-home wife and mother to the Dennett family. Colin Thatcher, the rough-around-the-edges kidnapper. And, of course, Mia. She meets Colin in a bar one night and goes home with him. That decision leads to a months long captivity in the icy tundra of northern Minnesota. Through the various POVs and time hops, Kubica peels back the layers of the various players. There are various twists and turns that guide you toward a shocking ending that I won’t share here. No spoilers!
What I loved: I wasn’t sure about the moving timelines and points-of-view when I first began, but I ended up loving the way information was slowly revealed. I also ended up really loving the perspectives of the various characters. Just as you began to really see things from one perspective there was a shift and you realized there were multiple sides to the story. I was also really impressed with Kubica’s portrayal of post-kidnapping Mia and the deep shock she experienced. You could feel the total frustration for Eve as she attempted to help her daughter. You could also feel the intense horror of Mia. It was also fun to read a book set in freezing temperatures when it is so hot outside.
Would I recommend?: I would totally recommend this book. In fact, I’ve already handed off my book to a friend. I would caution readers to go in with just the expectation that this is a thriller with a dash of family dysfunction. I’m not going to tell you that it’s the next Gone Girl or Girl on the Train. It’s just a well-crafted thriller with intriguing characters and some fun twists.
Backlist bonus: Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson would be a great read for someone who like this book or psychological thrillers.