cover image Good Bad Girl

Good Bad Girl

Alice Feeney. Flatiron, $28.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-84396-8

Feeney’s latest (after Daisy Darker) solidifies her reputation as a premier purveyor of psychological suspense. She grabs readers from page one, as an unnamed woman, wracked with guilt about being an ambivalent mother, is distracted while shopping; when she returns her attention to her baby carriage, her six-month-old daughter is gone. “I will never see her again and it is all my fault,” the woman thinks. “Because I know who has stolen her. And I know why.” From there, Feeney introduces several women, including Frankie, who’s just left her job as a prison librarian, and her teen daughter Patience, who’s run away from home and works as an attendant at a London senior-care facility. Patience has bonded with one of the residents, Edith, a former store detective whose daughter tricked her into signing away her house, and Clio, a therapist who believes another resident at the home was murdered. As the women’s relationships deepen, Feeney gradually reveals their connection to the initial abduction, keeping readers constantly off-balance with shifting perspectives and brilliantly withheld information. All the while, she mines the murky waters of mother/daughter relationships with aplomb, anchoring the flashy plotting in palpable emotion. This crafty thriller will touch readers’ hearts as much as it bends their minds. Agent: Kari Stuart, CAA. (Aug.)