ARC Review: “The Good Goodbye” by Carla Schwarz Buckley

the good goodbye

“The Good Goodbye” by Carla Schwarz Buckley

Release Date: January 12, 2016

Genre: Fiction, Suspense

Page Length: 368 pages (electronic edition)


The author of The Deepest Secret returns with another spellbinding domestic thriller about an estranged family forced together in an ER as disturbing truths come to light. Crackling with moral ambiguity and alive with family tension, this is a poignant and unforgettable novel of the lies we tell, the secrets we keep, and the truths we hide even from ourselves.

Two cousins, Rory and Arden, lie unconscious in a hospital burn unit. The fire, which broke out in their shared college dorm room, killed another student, and the police want answers. Tension between Rory and Arden’s parents was already at an all-time high before the fire, owing to a recent financial crisis and the decline of the family business. As the parents huddle anxiously in the waiting room, carefully avoiding the subject of their own unraveling relationships, disturbing truths come to light. This is the deeply moving story of a family’s struggle to hold together while their secrets threaten to tear them apart. (description from Netgalley)


I was intrigued to pick up The Good Goodbye by its synopsis and immediately became hooked into the story from the very first pages. From the beginning of the novel, the story sets a fast pace. Once you are introduced to the main characters you are thrown into the midst of chaos. We see a tragic incident occur and the family as well as the readers are left to pick up the pieces surrounding the accident.

Each chapter is the point of view of the main characters and it constantly shifts throughout the entire novel. Having multiple viewpoints allows you to see the different perspectives of characters through one’s eyes and you also get a better understanding of how the characters react emotionally to each situation. Rather than getting each character’s back story at the start of the book, we learn more about them through the various viewpoints and flashbacks.

From the beginning, The Good Goodbye also presents this picture perfect family. As the plot moves along you find out things are not as great as it seems and tensions arise between characters. As the story unravels you’ll keep guessing what was the motive behind the accident and why did it occur. With each flash back you get a puzzle piece that helps you tie together the mystery as well as seeing past the facades of each character.

Since this novel is so suspenseful it’s hard to discuss it without giving too much of the mystery away. Overall, I enjoyed its many twists and turns that kept me on edge the entire story. Nothing is as it seems and soon as you put in trust in one character, the next chapter you might rethink your choice. The novel was well written and what makes this story so good is the fact that you are placed inside the character’s head rather than be a bystander.

Final Verdict:

A roller coaster ride of a read. One of the best suspenseful stories I have read in a long time!

5 star rating

FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for a honest and fair review.

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