The Next ‘Gone Girl’: A Review of ‘One of the Good Guys’ 

We’ve all heard it: “But I’m one of the good guys!” 

And you know who’s always saying it? More often than not, someone who is not a good guy. 

This is the premise of Araminta Hall’s gripping new novel, One of the Good Guys. 

The book follows the life of Cole, a supposed “nice guy”. He’s what you would consider to be the perfect husband – he cooks, cleans, and is keen to be a very hands-on dad. So, when his wife leaves him, with no explanation, he’s rightfully confused. 

In the aftermath, he leaves London to start a new life as a wildlife ranger. That’s when he meets reclusive artist Lennie – and our story really begins. As they grow closer, two young women protesting gendered violence go missing nearby, and Cole and Lennie are thrust into the national spotlight. Let’s just say chaos ensues. 

Honestly, it took me a while to really start to enjoy this book. The writing style itself, at least in the first bit, is slightly off-putting. With the first section written from Cole’s perspective, I found his narration quite hard to digest – though that seems to be a storytelling tool on Hall’s behalf. You find yourself agreeing with Cole’s nice-guy tendencies, his indignation at being left by his wife, and take his side on various disagreements – yet somehow, you also find yourself uncomfortable with these feelings. It’s hard to describe, but I almost got the ick for myself when I agreed with Cole – and as the story progressed, I understood why.  

After the first section, the rest of the book is written from a range of perspectives, including newspaper clippings, flashbacks, Reddit threads, and texts. I personally love this way of storytelling, and while others may find it disorienting, it’s a breath of fresh air to move away from Cole’s self-centred narration. 

Without giving too much away, I have to say how utterly insane this book is. From the moment I saw that Gone Girl’s author, Gillian Flynn, had endorsed it, I knew I would enjoy One of the Good Guys. And I don’t think it’s at all far-fetched to say that this book is our generation’s Gone Girl. With twists and turns aplenty, you’ll be gasping and clutching at your pearls the whole way through. 

The book brings up some very interesting questions on protest, gender roles and gendered violence. It’s surprisingly introspective and philosophical, and I think it’s an important read in today’s climate.  

One of the Good Guys is binge-worthy, rave-worthy, and a book worth obsessing over. I spent half this read with my hand over my mouth in shock, and the other half completely enraged. It encapsulates the female experience perfectly, and I would 10000% recommend everyone read it. Even if you think you’re one of the good guys. 

Tione Zylstra
Tione Zylstra

Tione is one of the 2024 Glass editors. She's a final year Journalism and Justice (majoring in policy and politics) student who lives to write about everything going on in the world. If you're after more of her work, check out Urban List Brisbane, The Music, and Purple Sneakers. Concerts and food are her go-to, so hit her up for either of those and you'll have a winner.

Articles: 17

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