Six years after
self-named Evie Comac was found hiding in a secret room, the
institution where she is living asks psychologist Cyrus Haven
to determine whether she can be released to live on her own.
No one knows, nor has she said, who she really is or what
she has experienced, but a determination must be made. Cyrus
has a history of his own with which he must deal, but his
job also calls upon him to help investigate the murder of
Jodie Sheehan, a popular, talented high-school figure skater.
Tasked with these two cases, and his own issues, it is up
to Cyrus to do what is right for Evie and find justice for
Unusual, quirky characters can be intriguing when they are
well-written yet still realistic. Robotham accomplishes that,
and much more. He begins with the very intriguing premise
that some few people are "truth wizards," that they
can intuitively know whether someone is lying. That Evie,
who is also defined as being--…"dyslexic. Antisocial.
Aggressive"-- is one such person adds a dimension beyond
everything through which she has been and compels one to want
to know more. Cyrus, too, has a past beyond imagining. That
the author puts these two emotionally damaged characters together
demonstrates the strength of the human spirit and determination
to survive. Both characters are unique and fascinating. Nothing
about either of them is what one would expect.
It's a pleasure when something causes one to stop and consider--"When
I run, my thoughts become clearer. When I run, I imagine that
I'm keeping pace with a planet that turns too quickly for
me." Rather than slow down the flow of the story, it
adds depth and richness to it.
The story does alternate between the two lead characters.
Being inside Evie's mind can be painful to read, and all the
more so for knowing there are real children who feel as she
does about herself. The descriptions of deaths is brutal,
but done in a way that is factual and not gratuitous or salacious.
Even so, Robotham finds the perfect way to inject just a bit
of wry humor—"'Who found her?' 'A woman walking
her dog.' Why is it always someone walking a dog?"
The investigation into Jodie's death takes one down a very
twisted path filled with surprises. The only slight criticism
is that the resolution seemed over the top. What one can truly
appreciate is that, even at the end, both Evie and Cyrus remain
"Good Girl, Bad Girl" is a strong, character-driven
story. It is very well-written and filled with well-done twists.
One rather hopes this is the start of a new series. Even if
it's not, this is a book, and characters, which stay with
one long after closing the cover.