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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

A Good Family

Narrator: Rebecca Gibel

Blackstone Publishing

ISBN: 9781250810175

Publisher: Tor Publishing Group

Forge Books

Publication Date: 05/30/2023

Format: Paperback

My Rating: 4 Stars (ARC)

New York Times bestselling author and Emmy Award-winner Matt Goldman's A Good Family is a gripping, emotional thrill ride about the secrets hidden underneath a picture-perfect neighborhood.

Katie Kuhlmann's marriage is falling apart. But she has a secure job, her children are healthy, and her house, a new construction in the prestigious Country Club neighborhood of Edina, Minnesota, is beautiful. She can almost ignore the way her husband, Jack, has been acting--constantly checking his phone, not going to work, disappearing from the house only to show up again without explanation.

Tension in the Kuhlmann house only gets worse when Adam "Bagman" Ross, a mutual friend from college, happens to be in the neighborhood and in need of a place to stay. Jack is quick to welcome him into the sanctity of their home, but Jack's strange behavior only gets worse, and Katie fears their new guest is also harboring a dark secret. As she begins to uncover the truth, she realizes that something is terribly wrong--and she must race to protect her family as danger closes in.

My Review

Matt Goldman returns following Carolina Moonset with his latest domestic suspense thriller, A GOOD FAMILY — dark secrets are hidden beneath the surface of a picture-perfect family, marriage, friends, and neighborhood.

The Kuhlmanns (Jack and Katie) live in Edina, Minnesota, in a neighborhood Country Club on Browndale Street. They all seem to be so perfect.

Kate did not grow up with wealth. She worked hard as a mother and at her job at GM. Jack grew up with old money- his family making their fortune in lumber. She needs stability, security, love, and comfort. She thought she had this, but things CHANGED.

Katie met Jack at the University of Minnesota at a hockey game. His friend Bagman, aka Adam Ross, approached her first and made the introduction. Katie and Jack married later and had two children, twins Elin and Kaleb.

Jack is the CEO of Electro-North 45. He is preoccupied with work. Katie thinks he is withdrawn from the family. Katie cares about her family but has noticed Jack's strange behavior. He is hiding something.

Then Bagman (Adam Ross) shows up from Florida (his best friend from college) out of the blue. It had been twenty-four years since he dropped out of college and moved to southern Florida, where he grew up.

He says he sells industrial insulation products and works from home. Jack lets him move into their mother-in-law's suite over the garage without asking Katie first.

Strange things begin happening with Adam. Who is he really, and what bad things are he involved in? Katie worries about her family. Is he bringing danger to their home? Why hasn't he left yet? Then he wants to borrow a considerable amount of money.

Jack keeps disappearing to the basement at odd hours and constantly checking his phone. What is he doing? Where is he going? She suspects an affair. What is going on? He keeps rejecting her.

There is the book club and ski friends: Latisha, Sandra, Miriam, Terri, and Jane. Are they friends? They add to the drama- think Desperate Housewives. Who are these people?

Next, we have Noah, a lawyer from New York, a friend and skiing buddy of Katie's she met at Birkie the year before. He skied for the Nordic team. Now he is opening an office in the Twin Cities. Katie continues to meet him but does not tell her husband.

What is going on with Adam? Katie does some sleuthing and finds a gun. First Bagman in the guest suite— and now, Sandra lives behind her.

Noah and Katie follow Jack. A hotel, a pretty young woman with long dark hair. The same woman that came to the house previously asking for Jack. Rebecca, a reporter. Someone winds up dead.

We learn about Katie's earlier life from the present to flashbacks of 1988-1989. Her grandparents taught her to ski, and she dedicated her life to living for her parents after they were gone (when she was ten).

Things were off. They were messy. Katie could not continue to live like this. Jack seemed to sacrifice one secret to guard another. Jack's behavior was unstable and unpredictable. Is she and her children safe?

The plot thickens when the FBI gets involved, underground tunnels, infidelity, a gun, misdeeds, a private investigator, a reporter, and an investigation. Soon Katie realizes having money does not make her happy. She was happier when they had nothing. How did her life get so off track?

The body count rises and takes us to the Epilogue two years later, where everything is wrapped up.

A GOOD FAMILY is a drama-filled domestic suspense full of secrets, neighborhood gossip, and many moving parts. A clever mystery, the author takes readers on a wild ride—we don't know who to trust, who to root for, and who is dangerous until we get further along.

Goldman steers a twisting course with readers breathlessly turning the pages to see how it will turn out—for fans of domestic suspense and authors Mary Kubica, Kimberly Belle, and B.A. Paris.

A talented writer, and while I enjoyed A GOOD FAMILY, I liked Carolina Moonset better. I listened to the audiobook and realized I never posted my review—I will be doing so soon.

Thanks to #ForgeBooks for a gifted e-ARC via #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: May 30, 2023

My Rating: 4 Stars

Praise for Matt Goldman

"First-class...The often amusing dialogue flows naturally, the emotional undercurrents ring true, and the mystery itself offers a full complement of suspects and motives. This novel about love, loss, and family ties isn’t to be missed."

―Publishers Weekly, starred review, on Carolina Moonset

“Goldman has an unerring ear for snappy dialogue and a poet’s eye for the beauty of nature. This is a compelling story of how the past is never truly the past, and how we make sense of the gifts that are offered us in every present moment. I loved this book.”

―William Kent Krueger on Carolina Moonset

“A writer to watch.”

―Harlan Coben

“A perfect blend of light touch and dark story.”

―Lee Child on Gone to Dust

About the Author

Matt Goldman is a New York Times Bestselling author and Emmy Award winning television writer. He has been nominated for the Shamus Award and Nero Award.

Matt's television writing credits include Seinfeld, Ellen, The New Adventures of Old Christine, and Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.

Matt lives in Minneapolis with his wife, two dogs, and two cats.







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