Thanks to NetGalley and Scribner for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: July 23, 2019
Synopsis: From the bestselling author of The Secrets She Keeps, the writer Stephen King calls “an absolute master…with heart and soul,” comes a fiendishly clever suspense novel about a dangerous young woman with a special ability to know when someone is lying—-and the criminal psychologist who must outwit her to survive.
A girl is discovered hiding in a secret room in the aftermath of a terrible crime. Half-starved and filthy, she won’t tell anyone her name, or her age, or where she came from. Maybe she is twelve, maybe fifteen. She doesn’t appear in any missing persons file, and her DNA can’t be matched to an identity. Six years later, still unidentified, she is living in a secure children’s home with a new name, Evie Cormac. When she initiates a court case, demanding the right to be released as an adult, forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven must determine if Evie is ready to go free. But she is unlike anyone he’s ever met—-fascinating and dangerous in equal measure. Evie knows when someone is lying, and no one around her is telling the truth.
Meanwhile, Cyrus is called in to investigate the murder of a high school figure-skating champion, Jodie Sheehan, who dies on a lonely footpath close to her home. Pretty and popular, Jodie is portrayed by everyone as the ultimate girl-next-door, but as Cyrus peels back the layers, a secret life emerges—-one that Evie Cormac, a girl with no past, knows something about. A man haunted by his own tragic history, Cyrus is caught between the two cases—-one girl who needs saving, another who needs justice. What price will he pay for the truth? Fiendishly clever, swiftly paced, and emotionally explosive, Good Girl, Bad Girl is the perfect thrilling summer read by internationally bestselling author Michael Robothom.
Good Girl, Bad Girl is the first book I’ve read by Michael Robothom, and while there were a couple of issues I ran into, I still really enjoyed it.
The best part of the book are Cyrus and Evie. I loved both their backstories and the mystery surrounding Evie, I found especially compelling. I confess I thought her ability of being a “truth wizard” would be more of a focus of the book and was disappointed that it wasn’t. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the same emotional investment in discovering who was behind Jodie’s death. Don’t get me wrong, it was a solid mystery. I think I was just so captivated by the developing relationship between Cyrus and Evie, and the shared traumas between them, that I found Jodie’s story almost distracting.
All of the characters are extremely well-written, with plenty of flaws amongst them, which serves to make them relatable (although there was one who I found thoroughly detestable and who didn’t get the just desserts they should have.) But again, it’s Cyrus and Evie who are the standouts here and raise this story above others in the same genre.
Good Girl, Bad Girl was an entertaining and quick read, and from the way it ends I will be very surprised if this doesn’t turn into a series. Both Cyrus and Evie are characters I easily grew attached to and I’d love to see more of them. I do want to caution though, there are triggers which some people may have a difficult time with. These include: Descriptions of torture, child abuse, substance abuse, attempted suicide, self-harm, and attempted rape. Otherwise, I highly recommend this to fans of mystery, suspense, and character-driven stories.