Title: Precious Thing by Colette McBeth
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 304 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
I know her inside out. I know what she’s thinking, I know what she wants. So I can’t give up on her, she knows I never will.
Some friendships fizzle out. Rachel and Clara promised theirs would last forever.
They met in high school when Rachel was the shy, awkward new girl and Clara was the friend everyone wanted. Instantly, they fell under one another’s spell and nothing would be the same again. Now in their late twenties Rachel has the television career, the apartment and the boyfriend, while Clara’s life is spiraling further out of control. Yet despite everything, they remain inextricably bound. Then Rachel’s news editor assigns her to cover a police press conference, and she is shocked when she arrives to learn that the subject is Clara, reported missing. Is it abduction, suicide or something else altogether?
Imagine discovering something about your oldest friend that forces you to question everything you’ve shared together. The truth is always there. But only if you choose to see it. In Colette McBeth’s Precious Thing.
Precious Thing by debut author Colette McBeth is a riveting psychological drama about a missing woman and the subsequent investigation into her disappearance. This intriguing mystery has plenty of dark secrets but it is the exciting twists and turns that make it such a brilliant read.
Rachel Walsh and Clara O’Connor formed a tight friendship as teenagers but lost touch following a traumatic loss. Now in their late twenties, they have begun to pick up the pieces of their tattered relationship, but the closeness from their childhood eludes them. After making plans to meet Rachel and a couple other friends, Clara fails to show up and the next thing Rachel knows, Clara has gone missing. The ensuing investigation reveals very disquieting information and Rachel uncovers several shocking secrets about her friend.
Told in first person from Rachel’s point of view in the form of a letter to Clara, it quickly becomes apparent that Rachel might not be the most reliable narrator. Rachel has achieved a measure of success as a TV reporter and she lives with her boyfriend Jonny, but she holds back vital information right from the beginning of the investigation. Her tangled past with Clara is revealed through flashbacks and shows that what began as a close friendship quickly turned to obsession. Rachel recounts the events leading up to Clara’s disappearance, but can her account be trusted?
In the beginning, it is easy to view Rachel as a sympathetic and likable character. She has overcome a dysfunctional past and she has an enviable life with a successful career and a wonderful man. She has tried very hard to recapture the tight friendship she once shared with Clara and Rachel paints a very compelling portrait as the injured party in their fractured relationship. But as the story progresses, disturbing events begin to show a pattern of manipulation that certainly raises doubts about both women. By the story’s end, it is almost impossible to discern whose version of events can be believed or if either character is deserving of the reader’s pity.
In Precious Thing Colette McBeth weaves a twisted tale of betrayal and revenge that is quite compelling. Surprising plot twists make the story impossible to predict and the ending is satisfying but there is just enough ambiguity to leave readers wondering what really happened between Rachel and Clara.