Nina Parker is a recovering alcoholic who is returning to her hometown in Missouri from rehab to reconcile with her ex-husband and daughter. Her family is very inviting, but a gap remains between Nina and her ex, Hunt. Hunt is tired of dealing with her antics, even though Nina has been sober for quite some time. Nina wrestles with her past as she wrestles to quench her undying thirst. On top of this, an unknown evil has been residing in town for quite some time. No one knows about the evil except one person, Markus, and he has been unsuccessfully trying to warn Nina about it. He can't get through to her, so he begins to take matters into his own hands. But when bodies start to surface, the game rules change.
The best part about Thirsty is the imperfect, realistic characters. Nina and Hunt both have personalities and flaws. Flashbacks serve as hints to what Nina and Hunt have gone through, and these help develop their personalities. While the other characters lack personality, most of them are imperfect and serve as substantial characters throughout the plot. However, Tracey is very good at her character interaction.
Nina is not a victim of circumstance, but a victim of her own wrong choices. She has driven her family apart with her drinking, and now she wants to put it back together. Normally, I would say that a plot idea this good wouldn't need a subplot about vampires, but believe it or not, the vampire bit helps the rating. Tracey has her own ideas about vampires, and they are better than the stereotypical myths. Tracey made sure not to make this subplot cheesy or sensational, but as normal as it could be under the circumstances.
The central theme of the book is inner thirst and desire. This is demonstrated well in the title and in the plot. Nina thirsts for alcohol, and Markus thirsts for something else. This central idea brings up the rating as well.
There is a villain, but she is not mindless or sensational. She has a point and a purpose throughout the plot that she wants to achieve, and she actually believes in what she wants. These kinds of villains are step above your typical serial killer villain.
The only thing bringing down to rating is the typical end in which Tracey proceeded to fix most of the problems. Nina's situation ends up perfectly. This is a disappointment because her subplot had so much potential. The vampire subplot ends better, believe it or not, because of a key character death. This book could have made the Elite List without Tracey meddling with perfection.
All in all, there is hope for Tracey Bateman down the road as long as she keeps up her good character development and character-based plots.