The Most Important Thing

Now available for purchase: Amazon

SecreThe Most Important Thing 003ts. Murder. Betrayal.

Melanie’s life is full of pretty little lies. The ones she tells herself to keep her failing marriage afloat and the false persona she projects to others. Melanie is obsessed with perfection, her husband Jeff is obsessed with himself.

When she goes missing, all attention turns to Jeff and his double life, the secrets he keeps. What he doesn’t know yet is that his narcissism has put him in the sights of a tortured soul who will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

Brian is searching for something as well, the perfect family. Only his attention can be deadly. He’s been watching their family for a long time. He enters Melanie’s life under the guise of saving her, but he has a few secrets of his own.

When the truth of their intimate connection is finally exposed, will Melanie want to be saved?



A woman’s sudden disappearance exposes a slew of grim, bitter secrets surrounding her family in this debut thriller.

When Melanie Tate vanishes, her car abandoned in a store parking lot, Burke Lake Detective Stan Yates naturally zeroes in on her husband, Jeff. Cops often suspect the spouse, but Yates has good reason to. Jeff may have resented Melanie, daughter of late oil tycoon Harry Woodward, for stashing her hefty million-dollar inheritance, opting to save the money for their children. The couple’s 14-year-old daughter, Sara, is so sure of her father’s guilt that in a tweet she suggests that police check the backyard. Of course, authorities have security footage of someone snatching Melanie near her car. The culprit doesn’t look like Jeff, but Yates may have a way to link him to a convict locked up back when Melanie was employed at the Department of Corrections. Readers know that Melanie is alive, chained up in a basement by a man calling himself Brian and insisting her name is Brie. Brian believes that, if he holds her long enough, she’ll warm up to her captor, which may be working: Melanie alternates between herself and the Brie persona. Jeff, even if he’s not behind the kidnapping, is unquestionably hiding something from the cops. But he isn’t the only one, as family and friends know a lot more than they’re saying. The deceptively simple abduction plot gradually adds succulent details, like the fact that Melanie was fairly sure Jeff was having an affair. These eventually lead to numerous surprises that throw suspicion on Jeff as well as another character or two. At the same time, perspective from nearly every character, from the Tate twins to irrefutably creepy Brian, makes everyone at least capable, if not culpable, of something shady.

A kidnapping tale dishes out edgy melodrama in the vein of a dark, unsettling soap opera.


Writer’s Digest

The Most Important Thing by M.E. Matthews is a bone-chilling thriller that will leave fans with the hair on the back of their necks standing on end. It takes a master storyteller to pull off something this impactful. Fans are sure to be eager for more books by Matthews.

Overall, the story is a good one that can help build a strong fan base. The characters are well drawn, with natural sounding dialogue.


This book has a tremendous amount of potential. I can see this story eventually being made into a movie.

  • Judge, 24th Annual Writer’s Digest Self Published Book Awards


Serious Reading

The Most Important Thing is a page turner without doubt. The psychological thriller revolves around how deadly an emotion as tender and vulnerable as love could be.

Now available for purchase: Amazon