January 19, 2016
K. L. Romo

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Review of The Good Goodbye by Carla Buckley

20868266The Good Goodbye is labeled a domestic thriller. And it is that. A murder investigation interwoven with a family drama.

Two cousins, Arden and Rory, are more like sisters, sharing everything. Their lives are intertwined in ways their parents have no knowledge of. Lies told and secrets kept. But the girls soon discover their parents hide their own secret truths, as well.

You let yourself open, like a flower with soft petals, but you should know better, because everyone lies. Didn’t I tell you?

One night the unimaginable happens: the girls’ college dorm-room catches fire. A boy is dead, and both Arden and Rory suffer critical injuries. Most of the plot takes place in the hospital where their parents hold vigil, not knowing if their girls will survive.

And demanding attention is the homicide detective wanting answers that none of the parents have. They soon realize they don’t truly know their daughters. Who caused the fire? Was it an accident, or was it murder?

I like the format of the book. Although the current action unfolds in the hospital after the fire, the backstory is told through alternating chapters. Buckley tells the tale from not only both Arden and Rory’s perspectives, but also from Arden’s mom, Natalie’s, as well.

The plot is fast-paced, with teasers interspersed to keep the reader guessing, speculating what truth will finally be revealed. I also enjoy the way Buckley portrays the emotional turmoil of waiting to learn if a loved-one will survive. In limbo, only going through the motions of living. Experiencing circumstances that are so surreal you’re not sure if you’re awake or dreaming. Not able to comprehend what the doctors are saying, because they just can’t be talking about your child, who was healthy just the day before.

If you’re ready for a good domestic thriller full of lives-intertwined, secrets, and lies, I recommend The Good Goodbye.

A big thank you to Bantam Books/Random House for providing me with this advance copy to read and review.

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