Book Review: The Good Girl

Instead of reading a paper book, I listened to this one (for free) in audiobook format. It’s not my favorite way to “read,” but it’s nice when I have busywork (folding laundry, cleaning out closets, cooking dinner) and I’m not in the mood for podcasts. Something enjoyable streams in my ears while I work.

The Good Girl toggles back and forth in time and also between three main characters. I’m not sure how this flows on paper, but in the audiobook there was a person assigned to each character rather than one voice for the entire story. It almost felt like a play.

Mia Dennett is an inner-city art teacher in Chicago, but she was born to a prominent family – a judge and socialite. Her sister, Grace, is the favored child, as she went on to choose a career worthy of her status. The differences between Mia and Grace are noticeable.

One day Mia goes into a bar to meet her unreliable boyfriend. When he doesn’t show, Mia haphazardly goes home with Colin, a handsome charmer who took the empty seat next to hers. What unfolds is a kidnapping. Colin was hired to take Mia and deliver her to a high-level hitman for an extortion plot. Instead, on a whim, he steals her away to a cabin in Minnesota.

The three characters who tell this story are Colin, Gabe, the detective assigned to the case, and Eve, Mia’s mother. The time goes back and forth between “Before” and “After,” so it isn’t a spoiler to tell you that Mia eventually makes it home.

The Good Girl has been likened to Gone Girl and Girl on the Train for its high tension and twists, but while listening to the story I thought of Tana French, one of my favorite writers whose mysteries are less about who and more about how. You often know the end. What you don’t know is how you got there.

However, Tana French’s thrillers are more intriguing than The Good Girl. Her plots are complex and unique, while The Good Girl has a plot we’ve seen before. The ending wasn’t a huge surprise but instead it is rooted in a motive we’ve seen in film time and time again. Regardless of the predictability, it was a fun thriller to keep my brain busy while doing dishes and editing photos. I imagine it’s a quick read, if that’s the route you want to go.

Buy The Good Girl here. 

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