GOOD BAD GIRL
BY aLICE FEENEY
Twenty years after a baby is stolen from a stroller, a woman is murdered in a care home. The two crimes are somehow linked, and a good bad girl may be the key to discovering the truth.
Edith may have been tricked into a nursing home, but at eighty-years-young, she’s planning her escape. Patience works there, cleaning messes and bonding with Edith, a kindred spirit. But Patience is lying to Edith about almost everything.
Edith’s own daughter, Clio, won’t speak to her. And someone new is about to knock on Clio’s door…and their intentions aren’t good.
With every reason to distrust each other, the women must solve a mystery with three suspects, two murders, and one victim. If they do, they might just find out what happened to the baby who disappeared, the mother who lost her, and the connections that bind them.
In the style of Daisy Darker and Rock Paper Scissors, Good Bad Girl is a thriller in which nobody can be trusted and the twists come fast and furious.
Sometimes good people do bad things for good reasons. Does that justify the bad things they’ve done?
Alice Feeney never fails to deliver a mystery that keeps me guessing the whole time. Good Bad Girl is no exception, however it is a very different read from Feeney’s other novels. While I’d say her previous books are more mystery/thrillers, this one is just a mystery that explores the complicated relationship between mothers and daughters.
Good Bad Girl follows the story of four women whose lives become entwined due to mysterious reasons. We have Patience, a teenager working at a care facility where Edith has seemingly been trapped by her evil daughter Clio. Clio is a therapist who takes clients out of her little pink house, that she hates to leave, which is where she meets Frankie who is a new client whose daughter has gone missing.
In between their chapters we also get an unknown POV of someone whose baby is kidnapped at a grocery store 20 years ago. To top it all off there has also been a murder (possibly murders) at the care facility 20 years to the date. It was a wild ride full of shady characters and good women who have had to do some bad things to get to this point.
Trying to figure out how it all connected was so fun. I felt like a detective with my sticky notes and outlandish theories. Each chapter ended with a tiny clue that kept me engaged and turning the pages. How could you not read the next chapter if each one ended on a cliffhanger? Feeney weaves another suburb mystery that isn’t easily untangled and keeps you guessing the whole time. Even when you think you have it solved, there is more to the story.
Throughout this mystery we also have this insight into motherhood and how complicated that relationship can be. Feeney explores themes of postpartum depression and how being a good mother can lead to sacrifices and making some hard choices. It’s a tale as old as time, moms think they know best. While sometimes that may be true, this time it leads to the serious of unfortunate events that unfold.
While a departure from her previous books, Feeney does an amazing job with this domestic drama. Good Bad Girl requires a bit of patience especially at the beginning when the foundation is being set and all the characters are being slowly introduced. Once the mystery starts to unravel though it’s hard to put it down. My one disappointment was the ending which was a bit lackluster but overall it was a fun read that I’d recommend to people who are trying to get into the mystery/thriller genre.