Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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? VERDICT This well-written, fast-paced novel is full of Feeney's trademark twists and turns. Fans of the author and those who enjoy psychological thrillers will want to check it out.—Cynthia Price

Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Feeney’s latest (after Daisy Darker) solidifies her reputation as a premier purveyor of psychological suspense. She grabs readers from page one, as an unnamed woman, wracked with guilt about being an ambivalent mother, is distracted while shopping; when she returns her attention to her baby carriage, her six-month-old daughter is gone. “I will never see her again and it is all my fault,” the woman thinks. “Because I know who has stolen her. And I know why.” From there, Feeney introduces several women, including Frankie, who’s just left her job as a prison librarian, and her teen daughter Patience, who’s run away from home and works as an attendant at a London senior-care facility. Patience has bonded with one of the residents, Edith, a former store detective whose daughter tricked her into signing away her house, and Clio, a therapist who believes another resident at the home was murdered. As the women’s relationships deepen, Feeney gradually reveals their connection to the initial abduction, keeping readers constantly off-balance with shifting perspectives and brilliantly withheld information. All the while, she mines the murky waters of mother/daughter relationships with aplomb, anchoring the flashy plotting in palpable emotion. This crafty thriller will touch readers’ hearts as much as it bends their minds. Agent: Kari Stuart, CAA. (Aug.)

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

The latest thriller from Feeney (Rock Paper Scissors, 2021; Daisy Darker, 2022) starts twenty years in the past, with a Mother’s Day gone tragically awry when a baby is snatched from its stroller, and it spotlights characters with problematic or shattered mother-daughter bonds. One disconnected mother is so lonely that she sets alarms on her phone just so she’ll receive some messages. The “good bad girl” of the title, a runaway who works in a care home, forms a sort of friendship with an elderly resident from whom she regularly steals. Together, they try to solve an in-house murder, and are the links to solving the mother-daughter ruptures that fill the novel. The book continues to return to the mystery of the harrowing opening scene, but the central suspense gets diluted by the minutiae of the characters’ daily lives. However, the ultimate resolution, when the story’s threads finally connect, is a satisfyingly clever shocker.