cover image The Good Girl

The Good Girl

Mary Kubica. Harlequin/Mira, $24.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7783-1655-8

At the outset of Kubica's powerful debut, free-spirited 24-year-old Mia Dennett, an art teacher at an alternative high school and a member of a well-heeled, well-connected Chicago family, goes missing. As puzzling as Mia's presumed kidnapping initially appears, things turn infinitely stranger after her eventual return, seemingly with no memory of what happened to her or, indeed, of her identity as Mia. Key characters share the narrative in chapters labeled either "Before" or "After," allowing the reader to join shattered mother Eve and sympathetic Det. Gabe Hoffman on their treacherous journey to solve the mystery and truly save Mia. Almost nothing turns out as expected, which, along with the novel's structure and deep Midwestern roots, will encourage comparisons to Gone Girl. Unlike that dazzling duel between what prove to be a pair of sociopaths, this Girl has heart%E2%80%94which makes it all the more devastating when the author breaks it. [em]Agent: Rachael Dillon Fried, Greenburger Associates. (Aug.) [/em]