The Good Girl

Mira: Harlequin. Aug. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780778316558. $24.95 ebk. ISBN 9781460330197. F
Mia, the daughter of a prominent judge, has vanished. Her mother and a detective, working together, do everything possible to find her. When she is eventually recovered, Mia remembers little of what happened to her. She calls herself Chloe instead of Mia. Is she suffering amnesia as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder? So, what did happen? Three main characters narrate their versions of the story, from before and after. One narrator, the kidnapper who was hired to seize Mia as part of an extortion plot, justifies his actions in hiding Mia as protecting her. Kubica's carefully constructed, character-driven plot propels the reader through a kidnapping, a recovery, and some difficult family dynamics.
VERDICT Similar in tone to William Landay's acclaimed Defending Jacob, this excellent debut is compulsively readable and highly recommended for anyone who loves a mystery, a suspense tale, or a psychological puzzle. This could also be recommended for those who enjoy suspense, but don't care for graphic depictions of violence or sexual intimacy: these elements are mentioned, but not detailed. [Previewed in Kristi Chadwick's Mystery Spotlight feature, "Pushing Boundaries," LJ 4/15/14.—Ed.]
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