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Precious Thing

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3.62  ·  Rating details ·  2,792 ratings  ·  427 reviews
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 spir
...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 10th 2014 by Headline Review (first published August 1st 2013)
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3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,792 ratings  ·  427 reviews


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Delee
My story start on a Monday morning in January- because it's the obvious place to begin. I used to think, 'Oh that was the day when everything changed'...but of course it's never that simple. The seeds of what happened then were planted years before.

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It was best friends at first sight the day Rachel and Clara met in grade school. Clara- confident beautiful and popular. Rachel- overweight, drab and quiet. Two very different girls...but Oh so close. Years later things couldn't get much
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 Li'l Owl ~ Incorrigible Reader
EXCELLENT!

I'd not read any books by Colette McBeth but she'll be an author whose books I'll certainly be reading more of.

I'll say it again. This was excellent!!

Right from the start, the story line captured my interest, continuing to gain speed until the very last page.
The words the author painted were vivid, creating pictures in my mind of the people and places. I felt like was right there, standing within the pages.
It was like someone had reached out and grabbed me but my wrist and was pull
...more
Linda Strong
Jan 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Some people are lucky enough to have a friendship that lasts forever. You learn to communicate without saying a word ... know what the other is thinking just by that twinkle in the eye. And as children, you promise ... you pinky swear ... that the friendship will last forever. But sometimes .. it's just not possible.

Rachel and Clara were such friends. Meeting in high school, they became each others' soulmates. Rachel was the quiet one, a little on the shy side. With a mother who drank constantly
...more
Blair
I had a bad reading experience just before picking this up, and wanted something easy to read, gripping but non-taxing, that could be devoured quickly: a palate-cleanser, if you will. So obviously, I headed straight for one of the crop of female-orientated psychological thrillers that have sprung up in the wake of Gone Girl's success. Precious Thing is the debut novel of Colette McBeth, a former BBC News correspondent, and it sticks firmly to the template of this sub-genre - an unreliable narrat ...more
*TUDOR^QUEEN*
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Murder mysteries are not my favorite reading genre, but the premise sounded like an appealing story. Brighton, England adolescents Rachel and Clara zoned in on each other when they met in school. Pudgy and gawky, Rachel was on life's periphery until the day Clara chose her as best friend. You see, Rachel felt very privileged to garner this attention from a person she held in such adoration. Clara lit up the world with her presence and decided that Rachel was worthy as her soul mate. They were as ...more
Carol
Feb 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Thank you Minotaur Books for the privilege of reading Precious Thing in e-galley prior to its March 2014 release.

Today you'd call them BFF. Rachel and Clara were just that, friends for life as only children can believe. Rachel viewed Clara as the most precious thing in her life. They were as one until something comes between them, splitting them apart, causing wounds difficult to heal. But like a true friend the adult Rachel tries to regain what she and Clara once had. Agreeing to meet her lost
...more
Sarah
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was a bit sceptical before reading this as I didn’t know if I would like it. I’m glad I read it now as it was excellent. I loved the story of Rachel and Clara. I didn’t particularly like either of them but I found their story fascinating. I liked how it was told in the present and then back to the years of their friendship and how it began. There were a lot of surprises in the book which shocked me and made it even better. I really recommend this book and I look forward to reading more from th ...more
Anna
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rachel and Clara have been friends since childhood. They are as close as sisters, yet their friendship borders on being obessive and slightly toxic. The story unfolds in the letters Rachel writes to Clara after Clara goes missing. Alternating between the past and the present, the plot unfolds through timely revelations that left me wondering"What is the truth and what is a lie?". Are Rachel and Clara always honest with one another, telling each other their most private secrets? Who is manipulati ...more
Liz Barnsley
Jul 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First of all a huge thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Rachel and Clara meet at school and form an unshakeable bond. Best friends, they know everything there is to know about each other...or do they? Years later Rachel is a successful tv reporter with a loving boyfriend and a great life, while Clara has not had such a happy time of it. When Clara goes missing Rachel begins to question everything she thought she knew about her best friend.....

I loved this very
...more
Kritika
I think comparing this book to Gone Girl is what made me disappointed with it. I thought Gone Girl was phenomenal, so I was expecting something full of unreliable narrators and plot twists and twisted characters. Precious Thing is not nearly so tightly plotted, and the characters are definitely twisted but lack the charisma of Gillian Flynn's. It's not that this is a bad book, it just tries too hard and doesn't deliver.

Rachel is a news anchor, and by a cruel stroke of chance she ends up reportin
...more
E.
Jan 19, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: twisty, thriller, mystery
If you are looking for a psych-thriller with twists and suspense, this is not it.
If you want a drama with a somewhat unreliable narrator, and a story that develops through gradual reveals, this is the one.

I enjoyed the writing to a degree.
Some of it was compelling and beautiful, some was redundant and, well, a little boring. The overuse of the name "Clara" in the same sentence, over and over, kind of got to me.
The big reveal near the end was a bit of a let down. The scene itself- two women si
...more
Jules
Oct 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this and found it hard to put down. At first I did find the first person writing style where Rachel appeared to be talking/writing to Clara, somewhat hard to get into. By the end of the book I fully understood why it needed to be written in that way. I've been left feeling a bit haunted by how the story ended. I may be suspicious of seemingly good book characters for a while now.
Dawn G
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Let me start off by saying that I have not read Gone Girl to which this book has been compared. If I had, perhaps my impression of this book would be different, in which direction I am not sure. As it stands, I really enjoyed this book, even though I could have enjoyed it just a little bit more. It was clear from the beginning that "things are not what they seem" and that theme prevailed throughout the entire book, all the way to ending that left me shaking my head. It is the head shaking and on ...more
Robin
Jan 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. Very well done "Gone Girl-ish" psychological drama with tidbits parceled out bit by bit as the book progresses. You know from the get-go that the narrator is not all trustworthy and have no idea where it's going but it's unexpected.

Good for anyone who liked GONE GIRL (Flynn), BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP (Watson) and CLOSE MY EYES (McKenzie).
Brandie
Jun 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Completely twisted. Very suspenseful read, and I really enjoyed it!
Cleopatra  Pullen
How can friends that have shared so many important moments recapture that closeness after circumstances have separated them? This is the root of the question that Rachel asks herself when her best friend returns home after an absence of seven years. Clara’s return to Brighton came after Rachel was already a successful crime reporter for television. Living in London with the man of her dreams she is perturbed that the previous closeness they’d shared was hard to recapture but she still classed Cl ...more
Bill Kupersmith
Mar 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Forget about comparisons with Gone Girl; publishers & booksellers are in business to make money & so long as the many readers are unadventurous & want to read the same bestseller or a knockoff, that’s what readers be offered. Precious Thing is not @ all like Gone Girl, except that the characters aren’t exactly too tightly wrapped mentally. Our narrator is a television crime reporter, which means she acts poised whilst having a Force 12 meltdown, & the victim apparently is her BFF ...more
Christine
Jul 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow an amazing, unexpected and engaging read. It is a story of secrets and a twisted friendship, set in Brighton. Clara goes missing and Rachel, her reporter best friend become caught up in the drama.

I love how we got into the mind of Rachel and saw the friendship develop. The school flashbacks seemed very realistic and fun. I am a big fans of books set in Brighton, which I know inside out. I was jumping up and down with excitement recognising all the Brighton roads and places. I even texted my
...more
Laura
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow!
That’s all I can say about this book. It is absolutely fantastic.
Precious Thing tells the story of Rachel and Clara – lifelong friends and keepers of each other’s secrets. They met when Rachel was the new girl at school and since then have been inseparable. Rachel has got it all, she’s a big shot TV reporter, has a nice flat and of course a gorgeous boyfriend whilst Clara’s life is beginning to unravel. When Clara goes missing, Rachel ends up questioning everything she once thought about he
...more
Joodith
Apr 08, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So here we go with yet another book compared to Gillian Flynn's brilliant "Gone Girl" It is absolutely nothing like Flynn's book, which was excellent in plot, characterisation and writing. This is definitely not.

Rachel, a television reporter is sent to Brighton to cover the disappearance of a young woman; Rachel discovers, to her horror, that Clara, the missing woman is her "best friend". Does Rachel tell anyone? Does she report this to the police? Does she tell them that she, Rachel, was at the
...more
Therin Knite
(view spoiler) ...more
Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
This book took me to so many different places. Unreliable narrator for the win.
Vi ❤ Inkvotary
Oct 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Bizarre but absolutely thrilling. Profound hate, endless trust and a perfidious plan to revenge make this thriller a great one!
4,5 stars
Review originally posted on Inkvotary
The cover caught my attention first. The cold blue, the plants, the water bubbles I couldnt imagine what they had to do with the thriller content. And the summary sounded very haunting. Despite the fact, that the author was new to me, I was going into this read with curiosity, and no expectations at all. All I hoped for was t
...more
Lori L (She Treads Softly)

Precious Thing by Colette McBeth is a psychological thriller that is highly recommended.

It is September 2007 and Rachel Walsh begins writing a letter to her very best friend, Clara O'Connor, in the opening of Precious Thing by Colette McBeth. Then the narrative jumps back in time to January 21st, the day Rachel, a news reporter living in London, travels to Brighton to cover the disappearance of a 28-year-old woman. Unbeknownst to Rachel, the missing woman turns out to be Clara, her childhood bes
...more
Dianne
A dark and brittle mystery filled with secrets, murder, jealousy and a twisted plot to seek revenge, Precious Thing by Colette McBeth weaves such a twisted path that the final resolution is not easy to arrive at ahead of time. Clara and Rachel met in school and the bond they forged went beyond best friends and confidants. They held nothing back, always trusting in each other, no matter what. But did they truly know everything about each other? Although they grew up to lead completely different l ...more
sue
Apr 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
This book was hyped up for all its contents and glory so I waited for the dust to settle before reading this.

I always liken it to watching a movie. People saying how good it is, raving about "you've not see it yet? boy or boy, go see it" So you do, and come out of the cinema, popcorn in had and say to yourself "ummm what was all that about". My theory is, because we are expecting more than what it is, so then we are let down, so learning from this, I do the same for my books.

I'm glad I waited b
...more
Anna
Sep 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Rachel and Carla became best friends when they were 14. It was an odd pairing - perpetual new girl and outsider Rachel with confident and popular Carla - but it worked and they were inseparable. Fast forward another fourteen years and their roles have reversed, with successful TV journalist Rachel being shocked to file a news report that the now troubled Carla is missing.

Told as a letter to Carla both now and in the past as the search for her continues, Rachel describes their friendship from the
...more
Mike Gabor
May 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: british-mystery
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
...more
Melissa Rochelle
Jan 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Melissa Rochelle by: Robin
Fantastic psychological thriller. The friendship of Rachel and Clara is filled with long held secrets -- slowly their story unfolds and it is full of twists. A true page-turner, as soon as I started reading I didn't want to put it down.

Definitely check this one out if you're a fan of any of these:

Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes Sister by Rosamund Lupton Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn Close My Eyes by Sophie McKenzie

Heidi
Mar 09, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three and a half stars: A compelling psychological read that doesn't quite pan out.

Rachel is frantic with worry. Her best friend, Clara, disappeared last Friday after missing their scheduled meet up. Rachel and Clara have been best friends for years, they were inseparable and their shared everything. As Rachel tries to find her friend, she is forced to confront the past and the secrets that are long buried. The more she digs, the more muddled things become, until fingers are pointing at her. Is
...more
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Forsyth County Pu...: November 2015 - Book Sleuths Book Club 2 13 Dec 03, 2015 04:35PM  
Goodreads Authors...: 3 Recommended Psychological Thrillers 1 13 Dec 02, 2014 01:18AM  

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Colette McBeth had been a BBC News reporter for 10 years when she won a place on the Faber Academy Writing a Novel course and started her first book, Precious Thing. She lives in London with her husband and three children but dreams of being beside the seaside.
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“Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.” 1 likes
“to, when DCI Gunn expected me to collapse in a puddle.” 0 likes
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