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.