Alice Feeney | Good Bad Girl

The Book: 

Good Bad Girl by Alice Feeney
Published August 29, 2023 by Flatiron Books
Date read: July 28, 2023

The Characters: 

Frankie
“Patience”
Cleo
Edith

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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The Plot (from Goodreads):

Our Queen of Twists, bestselling author of Daisy Darker and Rock Paper Scissors Alice Feeney, returns with another thrilling mystery filled with drama and her trademark surprises.

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 ScissorsGood Bad Girl is a thriller in which nobody can be trusted and the twists come fast and furious.

How did Good Bad Girl end?

Click here for book spoilers for <em><em>Good Bad Girl</em></em>
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read Good Bad Girl, I suggest you turn back now.

The Reveal:

Jude, Patience’s landlord, was Edith’s son. When Patience ran away from Frankie, she thought Jude was her father and confronted him. He wasn’t her father, but he offered to “help” her with rent in exchange for giving him her paper cuts to sell in his gallery.

Cleo was the mother of both Patience (guessable) and Frankie (I didn’t notice this setup). Cleo had given a baby up for adoption when she was young, and we knew that Frankie was adopted. We were a bit misdirected because it was kind of implied that Cleo had had an abortion instead.

Edith was the one watching the baby (Nellie) when she was stolen.

Frankie found Cleo after she found out she was adopted. When she showed up at the door Edith turned her away. Edith had seen Cleo’s postpartum depression and paid Frankie $10 to steal Cleo’s baby. So Frankie and Nellie/Patience were sisters.

Jude had conspired with Joy to kill Edith to get his inheritance. Cleo caught Joy trying to kill Edith, and Nellie walked in and killed Joy. Jude was arrested for her death, though.

The Ending:

All the women wound up friends.

The Review: 

This audiobook had a lot of POVs, and it was a lot to keep track of at first. Four women: Frankie, Patience, Cleo, and Edith. Even writing my summary I confused myself! Nearly all of the characters were unlikeable (except for Edith) and unreliable, but in such an interesting way. Feeney took the complexity of mother-daughter relationships and crafted a gripping thriller.

Edith stole the show, though. I love a meddling more-clever-than-everyone-assumes older lady. She brings a good laugh to the story, and I loved her relationship with her dog!

At times all of the motivations were confusing, but I enjoyed how all of the stories tied together. I think it’s best to go in mostly blind, although if PPD is triggering to you, give this one a pass. Good Bad Girl was an interesting thriller, but it wasn’t my favorite from this author.

While the audiobook production was great, I would have preferred to be able to flip back and remind myself who was who. Books with so many POVs are better in a hard copy!


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