I’m not a lover of thrillers, especially domestic ones. I try, because they often sound so intriguing, but I almost without fail guess the twists so far in advance that I get frustrated with the characters for not seeing what I see. And speaking of the characters, the main “protagonist” is so often a troubled, unreliable female narrator who is billed as highly intelligent but who is constantly making stupid decisions, and I think it’s a trope that has been radically overdone and should be laid to rest. But after hearing Goodnight Beautiful described as brilliant by readers I trust, and being told to go in as blind as possible, I just couldn’t pass this one up when it was offered as a Book of the Month pick. Except, then I didn’t read it for a year and a half.
When I finally did pick up Goodnight Beautiful, I was pretty blown away.
About a third of the way in, a twist actually shocked a “What?!” out of me. I couldn’t believe I was not only surprised, but that I was surprised so early into the book! And it didn’t let up from there. Molloy gave her readers multiple twists that I, for one, didn’t see coming. It also gave me as a King fan, a Constant Reader, if you will, an extra little thrill that I very much appreciated.
I’m going to say next to nothing about the plot or the characters, as I want to give nothing away. What I will say is that Molloy is an incredibly clever author. Her writing is witty, snarky, and well paced. And she takes overdone tropes and flips them on their heads in really interesting ways. I very much enjoyed her style and getting a peak inside her mind, and I’ll absolutely be trying more of her work. Something that I dislike about most thrillers is that they rely so much on heavy-handed misdirection, the unreliability of their narrators, and the inability of their characters to see things that are right in front of them. Goodnight Beautiful had all of those, but in radically different ways than any other thriller I’ve read before. Also, I felt that Molloy truly nailed her ending.
Goodnight Beautiful is a thriller unlike anything else I’ve ever read in the genre. It was incredibly clever, the characters were fascinating, the banter was always witty, and there were multiple twists that I didn’t see coming. I can’t think of anything I didn’t like about it. If this book isn’t only my Top Reads of 2022 list, I’ll be surprised. Goodnight Beautiful is a short book that truly packs a punch, and I can’t wait to press it into the hands of other readers in my life.
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