Reviews for Precious Thing

Booklist Reviews 2014 January #1
*Starred Review* When they met in high school, awkward Rachel and coveted beauty Clara formed an unlikely, albeit airtight, bond. Years later, Rachel has bloomed into a successful crime-news correspondent and Clara is a free-spirited artist with a hefty inheritance cushion. Life has intervened, and they see each other rarely, so Rachel feels obligated to drive down from London when Clara arranges an evening out with old classmates. But Clara is nowhere to be found that evening. Clara's a bit flaky, so Rachel dismisses the incident until she arrives at a Brighton police press conference and discovers she's meant to cover a report of a missing person: Clara. In the coming weeks, Rachel's initial devastation shifts to suspicion as she becomes the prime suspect and begins to believe that Clara is framing her. The narrative takes the form of Rachel's confidential letter to Clara, full of inside jokes and hinted evils. It's a winning method of spine-tingling foreshadowing that frames the constant question: Has Rachel gone mad and blocked her connection to the disappearance, or has Clara's affection turned to something darker? Debut author McBeth's Gone Girl-style psychological thriller will be a widespread hit for fans of dark drama with questionable narrators, including S. J. Watson's Before I Go to Sleep (2011), Sabine Durrant's Under Your Skin (2013), and Karen Perry's The Innocent Sleep (2014). Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2014 February #1
TV journalist Rachel Walsh has been summoned to a press conference to cover the disappearance of a young woman. It's all standard operating procedure until she sees the poster of the missing woman: Clara O'Connor, her best friend. Blue-eyed, brown-haired, beautiful Clara met red-haired, green-eyed, awkward Rachel in high school, when Rachel, the new girl in town—the new girl for the fifth time in her life—took an empty seat next to her in English class. Soon, the two were inseparable. Yet even in those early days, their relationship was tainted with mutually inflicted damage. To escape the humilities of gym class, Clara convinced Rachel that they should break each other's wrists. It's a bond that helped Rachel survive her mother's alcoholism and the mean girls' taunts. After high school, after Rachel's mother's death, they lost touch. Rachel went off to school, and Clara committed herself for psychiatric treatment and then traveled the world. Now in their late 20s, Rachel and Clara have reconnected. Rachel has made a good life for herself; she has a good job and a loving boyfriend. Although she's a bit jealous that Clara has become friends with two of the girls who bullied her in high school, Rachel musters up the confidence to meet them all for drinks. At the last minute, though, Clara cancels, claiming to be ill, so Rachel's on her own with the erstwhile mean girls. She leaves early, still hoping to crash at Clara's, but no one answers the door. Clara's disappearance is just the first of many mysteries. A former BBC crime reporter, McBeth crafts a twisty tale in this debut novel that abounds with stalkers, secrets, betrayals, missing persons and grainy CCTV images. A darkly fraught friendship lies at the heart of this spellbinding thriller. Copyright Kirkus 2014 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Journal Reviews 2014 March #1

Rachel and Clara have been best friends since high school. Now in their 20s, they've grown apart but still they know each other better than anyone else. Rachel has a great job as a TV news crime reporter and a superb boyfriend, and she's thinner than she's ever been. Still living in their hometown of Brighton, Clara is an artist but her life isn't quite as on track. She asks Rachel to come down from London to catch up and reignite their friendship. Prior to the evening out, though, Rachel's news editor asks her to drive to Brighton to cover a missing girl story. When Rachel arrives at the police station, she is shocked to learn it is Clara who has gone missing. Is she dead, abducted, or has she simply left town on her own? VERDICT With its unreliable narrator, this debut novel is sure to please fans of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, S.J. Watson's Before I Go to Sleep, or Liane Moriarty's The Husband's Secret.--Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., OH

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2014 January #3

At the outset of British author McBeth's haunting first novel, London-based reporter Rachel Walsh travels to Brighton to cover the disappearance of a 28-year-old woman who turns out to be her childhood best friend, Clara O'Connor. Years earlier, Rachel was the awkward, chubby new girl at school, whom the beautiful, charismatic Clara took under her wing. Now Rachel is the successful, enviable one with a stable job and a loving boyfriend, while Clara, just back from a seven-year stint abroad that included time in a psychiatric ward, stumbles in her new life. When Clara's case begins to look more sinister than it first appeared, Rachel must admit to the authorities not only her history with Clara but also that she'd been in Brighton the same night her friend disappeared to meet Clara. As the details of the two teenage girls' relationship unfold in the past, the reader begins to wonder to what lengths a person will go for friendship. McBeth imbues her characters with layers upon hidden layers, keeping readers guessing until the end. (Mar.)

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