PLOT: 4/5 CHARACTERS: 3.5/5 ENTERTAINMENT: 3.5/5 OVERALL: 3.5/5
“Everybody has a mother, but not everybody has a mother’s love.”– Alice Feeney, Good Bad Girl
Oh, Alice Feeney, where do I even begin? If there’s one author who truly needs no introduction in my bookish world, it’s her. She’s the genius behind two of my absolute favourite thrillers of all time: “His & Hers” and the mind-bending masterpiece, “Rock, Paper and Scissors.” Let me tell you, I am absolutely, unequivocally hooked on her writing.
There’s just something about her storytelling that keeps me coming back for more. Every word she pens, every twist she weaves, it’s like literary magic. Thus, I am always the first in line, eagerly waiting for her next literary masterpiece to hit the shelves. Because when Alice Feeney writes, I read. It’s that simple.
About the author
As a bestselling author, Feeney’s books have surpassed the one-million-copy mark in sales and found readers in more than 30 languages. Notably, her book “Rock Paper Scissors” is currently in the process of being adapted into a TV series by the same producer behind the hit show “The Crown.”
The plot of Good Bad Girl
It was Mother’s Day when a baby was stolen from a stroller in the supermarket – this incident occurred 20 years ago.
In the present day, Edith finds herself deceived into staying at a nursing home by her children, a place notorious for people not leaving alive. At 80 years old, Edith, a former store detective, yearns to escape. She forms an unlikely bond with Patience, a much younger girl who works at the nursing home. However, Patience has been keeping secrets from Edith since they first met.
Clio, Edith’s daughter, leads a solitary life in a pink house in an upscale neighborhood, her immense sneaker collection occupying an entire room. She works as a therapist, seeing clients at home. Her latest client, though, isn’t entirely honest, and their intentions for meeting Clio are far from benign.
Suddenly, a murder occurs at the nursing home, alongside a missing person. These women find themselves embroiled in a mystery, now faced with three suspects, two murders, and one victim.
Unravelling the details of the recent murder might just hold the key to solving a 20-year-old kidnapping. The enigmatic “good bad girl” could potentially be the crucial link connecting all these pieces together.
Good Bad Girl isn’t a thriller per se, unlike her previous books. Instead, it’s more of a slow-burn mystery. As you continue reading, pieces fall into place bit by bit, and you begin connecting the dots, ultimately leading to a satisfying conclusion.
At the outset, the book provides glimpses of each character engaged in questionable activities. It takes some time to discern their roles, but once you do, you’ll find yourself pondering their involvement in the murder.
Each of the four female protagonists possesses shades of grey in their characteristics and is flawed to a certain extent.
Let’s talk about the characters
I particularly enjoyed Patience’s character development; it perfectly encapsulates the title “Good Bad Girl.” She’s a good-hearted girl striving to do her best, nurturing lofty aspirations, yet occasionally finding herself engaged in questionable actions, albeit for the greater good.
At the age of 80, Edith still maintains her sharpness and attempts to reconcile the past and present, seeking some form of redemption in the end.
Clio’s past traumatic incident has had a profound impact on her life, and she still struggles to come to terms with the events of that time.
Frankie, a young woman, has spent most of her life in the shadows, and is striving to do her best each day.
Now, turning to Alice’s writing, it’s undeniably clever. The plot isn’t overly elaborate; it’s rather concise. However, the way she crafts her characters and weaves the story with short and alternating points of view keeps you eagerly turning the pages.
This may not stand as her finest work, unlike her previous bestsellers “His and Her” and “Rock Paper Scissors,” as it lacks the element of thrill. Furthermore, the writing throughout the book tends to be quite repetitive, with certain points reiterated excessively.
Personally, I managed to deduce the murder suspect quite early on, but thanks to her clever writing, I remained engaged and continued reading. The final twist that interconnects the characters and the two plotlines was unexpected and quite satisfying, leaving me with a sense of appreciation as I concluded the book.
So, if you’re in search of a slow-burning mystery with enough intrigue to hold your interest, give this one a shot. While it may not rank as my favourite book by her, I will undoubtedly continue to read whatever she produces.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of Good Bad Girl right away!