Secrets don’t stay secret for long…
She spent her whole life being the perfect daughter, the perfect girlfriend, and was all ready to become the perfect wife.
But after ditching her fiancé at the altar and escaping to Chicago, she marries smouldering stranger Joe Petrozzi three weeks after meeting him in a bar. At least this time, there’s no chance of cold feet.
Married life starts out great: there’s the new job, a gorgeous, enigmatic husband and money’s no issue.
So what if she’s kept a few secrets from Joe – like where all her money came from. Joe’s been keeping secrets from her, too.
But his might just get her killed.
This book has been very hard to rate and to review, especially without giving away some spoilers, so as a warning… there may be some spoilers.
I dared myself to walk the steps, to be swallowed up, to tell them about Nina and Joe and do the right thing for the first time in my life. I hovered, paused, glanced at the four stars on the billowing Chicago flag and then retreated to my well-stepped observation point.
Everyone has secrets but the newly wed Mr and Mrs Petrozzi seem to have an abundance that they are keeping from each other. She has run away from leaving another man at the altar and he has a lot of ‘errands’ at odd hours. Unfortunately their secrets attract danger and violence and leave Mrs Petrozzi fighting for her sanity and unsure of whom she can trust in her new life.
The Good Kind of Bad started well, it seemed like we were straight into the action without much preamble and it appeared that this was going to be the pace for the rest of the book, which would have been brilliant. However there came a point not too long after this, maybe around chapter six that the strength drifted and the story became quite hard to get through. I think there was a promise of action and suspense that wasn’t delivered upon quite to what I thought it would be and that’s why it slowed down.
Having said that the gears shifted once again, around chapter eighteen, and the pace changed and suddenly I was hooked, hanging onto every word. There was definitely a sense of needing to get to the end to see how it would play out, and I went from sporadically reading it to finishing it in one sitting.
One of the things that I found difficult about this book was that I really didn’t feel much for the main character, Mrs Petrozzi. I felt like she was very two-dimensional and was for the most part fairly clichéd, she made it very hard for me to like her through her actions. As an example, Joe becomes abusive, she manages to get away from him but realizes that she has left important items at their apartment. Even though someone offers to go with her, all she has to do is wait a little while, she takes it upon herself to go alone and I wont tell you exactly what happens but it doesn’t end well.
This really annoyed me because I just found it too unbelievable, I know that there are many cases in real life of women going back to abusive men for one reason or another but in this scenario it just didn’t ring true, especially if someone was to offer to be there as added protection. There are a few other incidents in the same vein as this, one such being that a lot of the story rests on her divulging a dangerous secret to someone that she has known less than a month. I can understand the need for these crucial turning point moments to be added, but I just feel like there were far more realistic ways that could have been used to get to the same point.
I realize that what I have said so far has been very critical but I think the reason is because I really liked the elements of the plot, at its core it is a brilliant and unique story, and after the half way mark the suspense really does start to build. Whilst there were turns that the story made that I found fairly easy to predict, I would then be thrown off course and couldn’t tell which way it would progress.
Another admirable point was that by the end you could see a change happening in Mrs Petrozzi, whilst for me this was a bit too late in the game, I appreciated how it spoke to people’s motivations to adapt and become stronger. I think that if that version of the character had shown herself sooner it would have made the novel more powerful.
The book is labelled a psychological thriller and it does get to a stage that you really do question what you believe about what is happening to Mrs Petrozzi. I felt a little disassociated from it, because I didn’t connect with her very well, but I could see how gripping it still was. It was at these points that this book really shone for me, I think that it shows how well the overall story has been written, that it could make you really invest in it and keep shocking you.
Whilst I was unsure at points I would definitely recommend that people who enjoy thrillers and crime novels give it a shot, because once it gets going it is a gripping read.
Thank you to the author and Netgalley for the review copy of this book.