Remember the person you sat next to on your first day at school? Still your best friend? Or disappeared from your life for good?
Some friendships fizzle out. Rachel and Clara promised theirs would last for ever.
They met when Rachel was the new girl in class and Clara was the friend everyone wanted. Now in their late twenties Rachel has everything while Clara’s life is spiralling further out of control. Then Clara vanishes.
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.
I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a little tired of seeing books compared with Gone Girl – I haven’t read it, and already don’t like it because it seems to be being used as a benchmark for everyone else who writes thrillers. And some books don’t need that comparison – just read Precious Thing by Colette McBeth for itself, for what it undeniably is, a gripping thriller with rollercoaster twists and turns and a wonderfully crafted story. This is Colette McBeth’s first novel, but it certainly doesn’t show.
This is the story of Rachel and Clara, friends since they gravitated together at school, told through a series of flashbacks and through Rachel’s eyes. The first person narrative works really well – just how reliable is Rachel’s account? – as does the structure with its slow reveal of the twists in the story. The writing is excellent – light and flowing, which makes the tension and drama and the shocking revelations all the more unexpected. I know not all reviewers have agreed, but for me the pacing was perfect. There’s a bit of everything in here – friendship, trust, jealousy, deception, lies, revenge – what more can you ask of a thriller? The ending is perfect – and I certainly didn’t see it coming. A very accomplished thriller that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Precious Thing was published in paperback in April by Headline Review, and is available in all usual formats.
Colette has very kindly given me a signed paperback copy of Precious Thing to give away (UK readers only). My winner of the signed copy is Beady Janet (Jan Lambert) – congratualations! I tossed a coin, and my reading copy will be going to Kat – apologies Lainy! I have both your addresses, so they’ll be in the post tomorrow. More giveaways coming soon…
Colette McBeth had the idea for her first novel Precious Thing in 1998. Instead of writing it she went to work for the BBC where she spent 10 years as TV reporter. In 2011 she enrolled on the Faber Academy Novel Writing course and completed Precious Thing in 2012. She lives in West London with her husband and three children.