Cover Image: Good Bad Girl

Good Bad Girl

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Member Reviews

I’ve been a fan of Feeney ever since I read her debut SOMETIMES I LIE!

I really enjoyed this one - it’s not really a thriller, but Feeney has a real talent for writing domestic suspense. It’s fast paced with a fun conclusion - definitely recommend it!

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ISBN Feeney (Daisy Darker) returns with another plot-twisting suspense novel that deftly explores mother-daughter relationships and the secrets they sometimes hold. Frankie is the head librarian at a women’s prison, and she likes it there. It “keeps her sane,” as she often thinks, but she leaves it all behind on a journey to find her daughter, who ran away from home a year ago. Meanwhile, Patience is living in a tiny attic room over an art gallery and works in a care home. She’ll do anything to protect Edith, her favorite patient, but Clio, Edith’s estranged daughter, does not appreciate the interference or the close relationship between her mother and the care worker. Patience is bonding with Edith but not telling her the truth about most things. Edith is lying to her daughter, and Clio is lying to everyone and herself. These four women are somehow connected, and nearly 18 years of secrets and lies are about to come to light. Is it possible that a good girl did a bad thing for a good reason?

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“Good Bad Girl” is the new novel by “Rock, Paper, Scissors” author Alice Feeney. Suspenseful and full of delicious twists and turns, “Girl” delves deep into the mother-daughter relationship and how easy it could be for a good person to do bad things- for the right reasons.
Patience is eighteen years old and working in a care home, where she befriends eighty-year-old, Edith. Edith is desperate to escape and seeks out kind and caring Patience to assist in her plot. However, what Edith doesn’t know is that Patience is not the person she says she is and she’s been lying to Edith since the beginning. Clio, Edith’s estranged daughter, has not spoken civilly to her mother in many years after a horrible incident occurred that Clio faults Edith for. When Clio gets an unexpected visitor, who claims to know a truth about Clio’s past, Clio knows she must visit her mother to get the answers about the woman’s identity. But things get messy when a body is found and all three women become suspects. Even though they don’t trust each other, and are keeping deep secrets from each other, they must work together to find out the truth and clear their names.
“Good Bad Girl” raises the question- can a good person do bad things? All of the female protagonists try and answer this through their individual narrations. Clio, Patience, Edith and Frankie tell their version of events through the alternating viewpoints, with each chapter being assigned to one of the women. As the story develops it is obvious that the women are connected in some way, but, in pure Feeney fashion, their true relationship is teased in small snippets leaving the ending to provide the final reveal.
There are some emotionally intense moments in this novel, as Feeney accurately examines the mother-daughter relationship, with all its highs and lows. This speaks to Feeney’s uncanny ability to craft an engaging and immersive plot with well-developed characters, that long-time fans of Feeney will be familiar with. Even with all the twists and turns, the multiple plot paths all converge into a satisfying, conclusive ending that is both believable and heartwarming.
“Good Bad Girl” is a non-stop page turner with an ending that delivers. Feeney has grown quite the fanbase, both in her native U.K and across the pond, and it is easy to see why. For suspenseful, dramatic fiction with ample unexpected plot twists, look no further than Alice Feeney!

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I love all Alice Feeney's book. They are all dark, twisty and filled with tiny details that you might miss on a first or second read. They all share themes of secrets, family relationships, and good and evil.

Good Bad Girl, as the title suggests, is her most female-forward book, with a cast of characters made up almost entirely of women, and of a bunch of mothers and daughters. It focuses a great deal on whether one "bad deed can make us bad, or whether we are all (mostly) a mix of good with "bad," of decisions that end up being positive or negative.

Good Bad Girl wasn't as twisty or suspenseful a book as some of her others, but it was a compelling read, and I remain a big fan of her work!

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It's Mother's Day and a six-month old baby is stolen from her carriage during a trip to the store. The mother is suffering from postpartum depression. That was twenty years ago. There's very little we know about anyone in this start of Alice Feeney's new mystery thriller. A group of women are then introduced in the present day. Frankie works in a prison as a librarian. Her eighteen-year-old daughter ran away a year ago. Patience is a young woman who works at a home for seniors in London. She's become close with one of the residents - eighty-year-old Edith who has a troubled relationship with her daughter Clio. Edith believes that her friend May was murdered within the residence and wants to get out, but daughter Clio doesn't want her mother living with her. Patience gets involved and finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. It takes a while for everything to come together and ultimately the connection to the abducted baby is revealed.

You might get a little confused. It takes a while before all the pieces of Feeney's Good Bad Girl come together and everything starts to make sense. Feeney's books can get pretty dark. Her latest, while clever and engaging, did not have the same level of darkness as some of her others, but it did have lots of twists and surprises. I appreciated the change up. This is more of a story about mothers and daughters. We know that everyone in the book has done something bad. We just don't know what they've done to create such inner turmoil. Until Feeney slowly reveals each of their back stories. I have to think that one of the main characters was named Patience because that is exactly what is required when reading this book.

Rated 4.25 stars.

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This was a multi-POV, multi-Timeline mystery from Alice Feeney, author of Daisy Darker. I think overall, the plot and twists kept my attention, and I definitely wanted to know who the murder was and how all the characters would connect. I do think it wrapped up a little too neat for my taste, though.

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For those readers looking for Alice Feeney’s typical psychological thriller, go in knowing that Good Bad Girl is a departure from her norm. That’s not a bad thing, as I applaud the author for bringing difficult subjects to the table, such as discussions surrounding postpartum depression and the complexities of mother/daughter relationships; however, this one is definitely a slower burn and took me a bit longer to get into. I found myself discovering the twists before the characters, but I still feel this is a worthy read if you’re looking for something a little lighter than Feeney’s usual take and infused with deeper emotion.

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Mother’s Day means different things to different people. To some it’s a day of celebration, to others it’s a reminder of the worst days of your life. 20 years ago on Mother’s Day a baby was stolen from a stroller. Now, two murders exactly 20 years later, are opening up old wounds from the kidnapping and have unknowingly tied four women together. 80-year-old Edith is convinced she doesn’t need to be living in a nursing home while her estranged daughter Clio is struggling to cover the financial cost of the home and keep her life together. 18-year-old Patience, as a caretaker at the nursing home, has developed fond feelings for Edith but is also searching for answers on her past. Lastly, prison librarian Frankie is convinced Clio knows where her runaway daughter is and is determined to find her. All four of these women have secrets, and this Mother’s Day they’re all about to be revealed.

In Good Bad Girl, Feeny tackles the complex dynamics of mother daughter relationships, and she has certainly crafted some unique and interestingly flawed characters. I found all our main narrators to be both unlikable and likable at the same time but while I felt they were well crafted, the different POVs and not fully understanding how they were connected gave the story a slow start. The web Feeney was laying out for us with these characters was almost too complex which made the first half of the book feel slow. Once I finally started to make connections, I had lost some of my initial interest in the story.

Something that could be triggering for some people but that I appreciated in this story as a new mom, is Feeney’s portrayal of postpartum depression and what it means to be a good mother. As a newer mom, I’m finding myself to be very vocal about the struggles women face in the 4th trimester and on. Even though this is a thriller with a kidnapping, I feel strongly that the more we see these topics in mainstream media the more likely we are to see change in the way society stigmatizes new moms. But this could certainly be a Trigger Warning for some people.

I’m ashamed to say that while I have copies of Daisy Darker and Rock Paper Scissors, this is my first Alice Feeney book. I think with most her books it’s good to just dive into the story without any context and so I’m glad that’s what I did here. While I did enjoy this book, the complexity of the plot bordered on confusing resulting in 3.5 stars rounded up to a 4-star rating.

Good Bad Girl comes out August 3, 2023. Huge thank you to Flatiron Books for my advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinion. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my instagram @speakingof.books.

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This was a little disjointed and predictable but it was a quick read. I think having one less POV would have helped.

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I'm typically an Alice Feeney fan and Daisy Darker was one of my favorite books from last year. So, I was very excited to get this ARC. Unfortunately, it's not one of her best.
I’m not going to summarize the plot because it’s extremely convoluted. I felt it took far too long to start to reveal how all the different pieces tie together. One of our main characters is Patience, a young woman working in a care home for the elderly. She’s run away from home, seems sweet, and is easy to root for. Almost no one else in the story is sympathetic. This is part of why I struggled with it, but also it just didn’t go anywhere quickly enough.
Feeney is famous for some pretty crazy twists in her books – these usually work for me but not always. Here, the big twist was definitely interesting and I didn’t see it coming. I’m not sure if I really liked it though. Overall this is not one of her better books but I am still a fan!

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𝑵𝒐 𝒕𝒘𝒐 𝒑𝒆𝒐𝒑𝒍𝒆 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒓𝒆𝒎𝒆𝒎𝒃𝒆𝒓 𝒂 𝒎𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒆𝒙𝒂𝒄𝒕𝒍𝒚 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒂𝒎𝒆 𝒘𝒂𝒚...𝑰 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒅 𝒐𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒕𝒘𝒐 𝒔𝒊𝒅𝒆𝒔 𝒕𝒐 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚 𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒚 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒎𝒆𝒂𝒏𝒔 𝒔𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒊𝒔 𝒂𝒍𝒘𝒂𝒚𝒔 𝒍𝒚𝒊𝒏𝒈, 𝒃𝒖𝒕 𝑰 𝒅𝒐𝒏'𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒌 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕'𝒔 𝒕𝒓𝒖𝒆. 𝑻𝒓𝒖𝒕𝒉 𝒃𝒆𝒏𝒅𝒔. 𝑺𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒆𝒔 𝒊𝒕 𝒃𝒆𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒔 𝒖𝒏𝒓𝒆𝒄𝒐𝒈𝒏𝒊𝒛𝒂𝒃𝒍𝒆. 𝑰 𝒅𝒊𝒅𝒏'𝒕 𝒏𝒆𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒃𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒐 𝒊𝒏 𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒚, 𝒃𝒖𝒕 𝑰 𝒈𝒓𝒆𝒘 𝒕𝒊𝒓𝒆𝒅 𝒐𝒇 𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒕𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒎𝒆 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒗𝒊𝒍𝒍𝒂𝒊𝒏.

No one can tell a story like Alice Fenney, whose fictional worlds become wholly immersive and authentic. At its core this was the story of three women who are all tied together in ways that were totally unexpected. Twenty years ago, a baby was snatched from her carrier in a grocery store. Present day, someone is murdered in a nursing home. The crimes are linked, but how?

However, the story quickly became deeply personal to me as Feeney, who must have a doctorate in psychology, masterfully navigates the stark landscape of a mother-daughter relationship that is plagued with difficulties and resentments. I stopped reading several times just to stare at passages like this one with tears streaming down my face: 𝑩𝒆𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒂 𝒎𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒊𝒔 𝒂 𝒄𝒖𝒓𝒊𝒐𝒖𝒔 𝒎𝒊𝒙 𝒐𝒇 𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆, 𝒉𝒂𝒕𝒆, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒈𝒖𝒊𝒍𝒕. 𝑰 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒓𝒚 𝑰 𝒂𝒎 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒐𝒏𝒍𝒚 𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒐𝒏 𝒘𝒉𝒐 𝒉𝒂𝒔 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒇𝒆𝒍𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒘𝒂𝒚...𝑰 𝒘𝒊𝒔𝒉 𝒎𝒚 𝒅𝒂𝒖𝒈𝒉𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒘𝒐𝒖𝒍𝒅 𝒅𝒊𝒔𝒂𝒑𝒑𝒆𝒂𝒓.

There is just no way to adequately describe the experience of reading this book and feeling exposed, then seen, then understood, and finally, healed. The mystery of course was engaging, and there were twists that only she could pull off, but the human part of this story was my favorite. So many thanks to Flatiron Books for providing me with an early copy. This beauty publishes August 29, 2023.

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What's it about (in a nutshell):
Good Bad Girl by Alice Feeney is the story of four women, three suspects, two murders, and one victim. The lives of the four women – Patience, Frankie, Clio, and Edith – intersect and intertwine into another Feeney spellbinding and unpredictable psychological thriller where I felt dizzy from all the twists and turns.

My Reading Experience:
I have yet to read an Alice Feeney book that does not thoroughly confuse, entertain, and shock me. Good Bad Girl is no exception to this. I loved all the twists and turns, even though they about drove me mad. Just as I thought I had it all figured out, the story would go in another direction, and everything that I figured out fell in a thousand pieces on the floor around my reading chair. And, just as I got tantalizingly close to the answers, I realized that I had no idea. And the end left my jaw on the floor, and I'm still trying to put it back where it belongs.

I don't want to say much more about the story because I want you all to enjoy it as I did – with nothing but the faith that Feeney will give you a psychological thriller that will twist your brain into a knot then shock you at the end. I will say a bit more about the characters, narration, pacing, and setting, but even those, I will keep somewhat brief because I am determined not to ruin your reading experience.

Patience is a young woman who just began working at a nursing home. As the newest, least experienced staff member, all the duties no one else wants fall to her.

Frankie is in her thirties and is the librarian at a women's prison. She loves books, so it's the perfect job for her despite the location.

Clio is a middle age woman who has not spoken to her mother since she had to put her in a nursing home for her protection.

Edith is a patient at the nursing home Patience works, and they have formed an unexpected friendship.

Narration & Pacing:
The narration comes from four perspectives – the four women already mentioned - noted by the chapter titles. The four voices are distinct, but I did have a little trouble remembering which name went with which character at first. And, of course, the pacing is swift from start to finish.

The setting is London, and Feeney uses it in unexpected ways. I can't say that the location is inconsequential because, in hindsight, I realize how very much it plays into the story.

Read if you like:
Shocking psychological thrillers
Dizzying twists and turns
A story that will leave you in awe at the simple genius of its telling

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