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Book Review: ‘Good Girl, Bad Girl’

November 08, 2019 by Abigail Bostwick

A gripping and eerie read — one can’t put down or look away from Michael Robotham’s “Good Girl, Bad Girl.” 

The novel opens six years before the rest of the story takes place, when police find a hidden young girl inside a secret room within a home linked to terrible crimes. No one can discern the identity, history or even age of the filthy girl, who refuses to tell them. She is booked in a secured children’s home with the name Evie Cormac. 

Enter Dr. Cyrus Haven. He is summoned home by a colleague, in hopes he can coax Evie into speaking about what happened to her. Those who have tried thus far are frustrated, and have found Evie is wise beyond her years, with a psychological ability to read people and navigate what they want from her. Around the same time, Evie petitions the local court to be released and live on her own. She claims she is over 18.

Cyrus is immediately taken by Evie. Her intuitively is remarkable, but the games she seems to play startle him. 

Meanwhile, a popular and gifted high school student is murdered not far from her home in the area. Young Jodie Sheehan had been training for years to become an Olympic ice skater. Authorities and the community are shocked over her death, and have a lot more questions than answers when it comes to solving her death.

Cyrus is enlisted to help solve the case, but he’s quickly encased in an investigation and complications more than he ever could have imagined. 

Cyrus himself has a complicated past full of emotional baggage and chains. He is the only member of his family to survive a brutal mass-murder, and suffers from survivor’s guilt. His draw and relationship to Evie impacts him in a way he can’t explain, and the two damaged individuals develop a unique bond.

The plot of “Good Girl, Bad Girl” is deep, complex and suspenseful. The plot has many directions and tugs and pulls, but follows along and unfolds. The novel is engaging and well-written. 

“He seems to be addressing me. Instinctively, I understand why. He knows who I am — about my family — and thinks this somehow gives me some special insight or monopoly on words that might help children cope with loss. The question transports me back to my first day at school following the funerals of my parents and sisters.”

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