Happy publication day to Colette McBeth for Precious Thing…read on for my review of this stunning debut.
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.
Told in the first person by Rachel to Clara we learn through Rachel’s memories how they met, how they become the best of friends and the secrets they share which will later rip them apart. When Clara goes missing Rachel is sent to report on the investigation and herein starts the rollercoaster of a ride that Rachel is in for.
It took me a while to get into the narrative – at first I wasn’t sure if I liked Rachel’s voice but after a few chapters I was hooked. The relationship between Rachel and Clara at first reads as a girl crush, partly innocent but nevertheless quite obsessive. Being told from Rachel’s perspective is a little one sided but it works brilliantly and I got enough from the conversations and scenes with the other characters to form what I thought was happening. All the way through I was totally rooting for Rachel; her mother wasn’t very nice to her, she wasn’t popular at school, she thinks her boyfriend is cheating – how could you not be behind her 100% to sort out the mess she finds herself in.
At one point I suspected Jake as Rachel’s stalker, this book does that to you, makes you suspect everyone except the person you really should. And then..what I suspected was way off track but I suspect that’s what I was meant to think. I love books like this that play you and you don’t know who’s good and who’s bad so you’re constantly changing your mind. This is a very clever psychological novel but if I was to discuss why I’d give away all the twists but it’s a chilling page-turner right up until the last page.
Overall, this is a brilliant debut novel and I look forward to reading more from this author. Fans of psychological thrillers like Before I Go To Sleep will love this.
Many thanks to Bookbridgr for sending me a copy for review!
About the author Colette McBeth
Colette McBeth was a reporter for ten years working for One O’clock, Six O’clock and Ten O’clock news – covering cases such as the Suffolk Strangler and the murder of Billie-Jo Margaret Jenkins. Her protagonist Rachel is also a news reporter, who is called back to her hometown to investigate the disappearance of a young woman.
Colette featured on the 2013 The Red List Hot 100, released by The Red Pages – a list which sets out to predict up and coming names in the world of fashion, music, TV, film, politics, sport and society. She is also a graduate of the hitmaking Faber Academy. She studied the How To Write a Novel course under the tutorage of Richard Skinner, who also taught SJ Watson (whose novel is being adapted for film starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman) and Rachel Joyce, who was longlisted for the Booker for her first novel The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.
Her new novel The Life I Left Behind is published in hardback in August.
Watch the video for release of Precious Thing