Rating: 3 Stars
I had been thinking about reading The Good Girl by Mary Kubica for a long time. It seemed to be a favourite on Instagram. I was a bit disappointed with it though. First off, there were comparisons to Gone Girl, which is never a good thing. A book should be original and not remind you of any other books. Then, as I read it, I realized that there was nothing in the book (except the “Girl” in its title) to make it seem even remotely like Gone Girl.
The book is told in alternate voices, flipping back and forth in time. One of my most favourite things in a book is to have more than one perspectives of the story. This book, however, failed to catch my interest from the beginning. The start is quite slow, and it takes a long time to come to the point. I was halfway through before I got a bit interested in the story. By that time, I was only interested in knowing what had actually happened and whether my guesses were correct or not.
The love angles in the book seem forced, and if there was ever a case of the Stockholm Syndrome, it is in this book. The character of Mia Dennett is like that of a typical Mills & Boon heroine, perfect and flawless but not valued by her own family. She is the essential poor, little, rich girl who shuns her father’s wealth to live hand-to-mouth while teaching the underpriveleged. The constant refrain of how her own father doesn’t love her becomes too much after a while.
Of course, Mia’s father is shown to be utterly heartless while her mother is utterly helpless. There are too many cliches here to count. Detective Gabe Hoffman works in a strange police department, where he has to tackle only one case at a time, and even when he has other cases, it still leaves him enough time to not only visit Mrs. Dennett, but also keep an eye on Ms. Thatcher regularly!
I would have overlooked all of this if the book had been marketed as anything other than a thriller and a worthy successor to Gone Girl. It is a drama at best, and the only part that might make it a borderline thriller is probably that last chapter.
The Epilogue is definitely something I was not expecting, though it makes me question the palusibility of the whole story, particularly the mental stability of the main character. An average read if you go in without expectations, and keeping in mind the usual books published under this particular publishing house.