Get to the Point Book Reviews: Good Girl, Bad Girl (Cyrus Haven #1) by Michael Robotham

Book Review Rules.

The book may (or may not) work for me personally but that’s not to say it didn’t do wonders for (or fail) someone else.

*This review contains adult language.*


Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham

Would I recommend?

Favorite Quotes

I’m not his prisoner. I can wander down to the kitchen to grab a bite. I can walk outside and dance under the streetlight and nobody would stop me. Maybe that’s what’s keeping me awake – the choices. (p. 155, Kindle ed.)

Counselors and therapists have always told me to accept my reality, but none of them has ever explained why. (p. 259, Kindle ed.)

The Goods

  1. For any cut of beef, expect a percentage of fat to accompany it. The same can be expected of authors and their works. Perhaps not the most flattering analogy but then I suppose that rather depends on how much you a) value beef and b) care whether your calories come from protein or fat. Good Girl, Bad Girl is one trim mofo. No gristle. No chewy cuts of cheap meat. Good Girl, Bad Girl is lean, wily, and ready to throw down in the street, anytime, anywhere.
  2. Which links to the second point and always a critical one (at least for me): pacing. Robotham fucking nailed it. When enjoying a New York strip [really, Christina?] you must have some fat. That classic strip flavor cannot be achieved without it. Fat serves a purpose; the challenge lies in understanding ratio. Too much fat and the audience is forced to waste time carving away unnecessary portions that do not contribute to the overall work. Too little fat and there’s not enough flavor. The success of a story is more than the content, it’s the way in which it’s told. Personally, I struggle with pacing which is why I focus on it as much as I do. Good Girl, Bad Girl suggests Robotham is terribly comfortable with his carving knives [really???] and not only do we benefit as readers from that skill but the novel also acts as an example of ideal pacing for those of us who humor ourselves as writers. In fact, because Good Girl, Bad Girl is so lean I want more of the fat. I trust Robotham’s abilities to portion out more of the juicy indulgences as it makes sense to the story and characters.
  3. This is just the beginning! I love a series, I do. No matter where my reading interests take me it’s a comfort to know that at some point there will be new adventures with much beloved characters. I quickly attached to Evie Cormac and I’m feeling my way around Cyrus Haven. There’s more to him than is being revealed. The same could be said for Evie, but Evie, unlike Cyrus, reads like a punch to the face – I dig it. But Cyrus is being withheld and at first I was frustrated by that. I like to deep-dive personalities (in real life and in fiction) but Cyrus is meant, I believe, to be experienced with a little more discernment. I look forward to getting to know Cyrus better…why does his character evoke tension in me as a reader? Is it curiosity? Psychological dissatisfaction? Sexual tension? I don’t know but I want to find out.
  4. Which leads me to this point. If a novel has you asking yourself questions after the fact, I promise you it’s more than “good.”  Most novels I read, I digest and move on. No disrespect intended it’s just what I experience. I can honestly say it has been some time since I last read a novel that has stayed with me after reading it, and even then I’m sure it was Robotham’s, Shatter. If you have not read Shatter (why not, though?) I strongly recommend it. In fact, Shatter was my first Robotham novel and I’ve been a fan ever since.
  5. I’m blown away by the factual representation of typical and atypical psychological norms, while, I might add, Robotham seamlessly weaves these aspects into his characters like it’s no big deal.
  6. Cyrus Haven was a former student of…Joe O’Loughlin’s! (thought that was a spoiler? review my rules linked at the top) I don’t know if that’s a tease for a crossover but one can hope. Not gonna lie, one little mention of Joe O’Loughlin and my heart leapt in joy.
  7. Entirely irrelevant point but Austin, Texas is mentioned in the novel and I’m like:


The Not So Good

  1. Aside from wanting more, there’s nothing to report. (Bias? Possibly. Do I care? Not really.) In all seriousness, if something stuck out as “off” or difficult I’d say it. You may experience Good Girl, Bad Girl differently. Feel free to sound off below – as always, comments are welcome.

From Amazon

A girl is discovered hiding in a secret room in the aftermath of a terrible crime. Half-starved and filthy, she won’t tell anyone her name, or her age, or where she came from. Maybe she is twelve, maybe fifteen. She doesn’t appear in any missing persons file, and her DNA can’t be matched to an identity. Six years later, still unidentified, she is living in a secure children’s home with a new name, Evie Cormac. When she initiates a court case demanding the right to be released as an adult, forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven must determine if Evie is ready to go free. But she is unlike anyone he’s ever met—fascinating and dangerous in equal measure. Evie knows when someone is lying, and no one around her is telling the truth.

Meanwhile, Cyrus is called in to investigate the shocking murder of a high school figure-skating champion, Jodie Sheehan, who dies on a lonely footpath close to her home. Pretty and popular, Jodie is portrayed by everyone as the ultimate girl-next-door, but as Cyrus peels back the layers, a secret life emerges—one that Evie Cormac, the girl with no past, knows something about. A man haunted by his own tragic history, Cyrus is caught between the two cases—one girl who needs saving and another who needs justice. What price will he pay for the truth? Fiendishly clever, swiftly paced, and emotionally explosive, Good Girl, Bad Girl is the perfect thrilling summer read from internationally bestselling author Michael Robotham.

Cheers (and suddenly hungry for a steak),
Christina Schmidt, MA