The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
This novel, the story of an adult daughter, kidnapped and eventually returned, is told in a “before and after” way, with each chapter told from a different character’s point of view. For example, a chapter may be titled ‘EVE, Before’, and the narrator will be Eve, the girl’s mother; she will be talking about how things were before the kidnapping or before her daughter returned. The voices heard are Eve, Gabe (the police detective assigned to the case), Colin (the kidnapper) and in only two chapters, Mia (the “good girl”).
The novel has some elements that seem to have stepped out of a soap opera: Colin has been hired to kidnap Mia and bring her to some other men. He picks her up in a bar, after her boyfriend doesn’t show up (it’s later revealed that Colin has paid him to stay late at work), and takes her home, but he can’t bring himself to turn her over to the men who hired him. Instead, he and Mia disappear into the woods, and spend three months loving in an abandonded cabin. Of course, like any good soap story, they end up in love. But they aren’t the only ones. Meanwhile, back home, Mia’s mother, Eve, is falling for detective Gabe, and he for her, in spite of the fact that she’s got a powerful judge as a husband. The judge is a classic jerk, though, uncaring about his daughter or wife, and only worried about himself. We aren’t surprised that the entire thing turns out to be his fault.
While I enjoyed the back & forth of characters, and found this a fairly good novel, I found it a bit lacking in true emotion. Still, I was happy with it, and especially glad that I had no idea about the ending.