Paperback, 364 pages.
Release date: Novembers 9th 2014.
Rating: 4½ out of 5.
Source: Received from publisher for review.
A tragic accident. It all happened so quickly. She couldn't have prevented it. Could she?
In a split second, Jenna Gray's world is shattered. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape her past, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of the cruel November night that changed her life for ever.
DI Ray Stevens is tasked with seeking justice for a mother who is living every parent's worst nightmare. Determined to get to the bottom of the case, it begins to consume him as he puts both his professional and personal life on the line.
As Ray and his team seek to uncover the truth, Jenna, slowly, begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating .
A truly stunning debut novel crackling with atmospheric tension and thrilling plot-twists, I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh astounds with revelation after stunning revelation in the race to a finish-line that will send shivers down your spine.
A woman haunted by unimaginable loss and an investigate team determined to bring justice at all costs provide the backdrop to this book, which, early on, you might think is really nothing special: just another run-of-the-mill crime thriller. If this hadn’t come my way via a personal recommendation from someone whose reading taste I really trust and share (thanks, Vicki!) that’s what I would have thought too. This book starts with a tragic incident that sets everything in motion, but after that, the pace slows in a maybe not-to-everyone’s-taste way, lulling the reader into a false sense of security of remote cottages, and sandy beaches and rescued pets, and romantic dinners with dishy vets. And then…
Only one of THE BEST PLOT-TWISTS EVER!
I read a lot of thrillers, and I almost always predict the big twists. Far too often I find I’m left disappointed and disgruntled because of this. It’s my own fault, I know. Don’t ever watch a movie of this type with me either, because I’ll guess the twist and blurt it out. I just can’t help myself. Anyway, the twist here, along with the big twist in Gone Girl are maybe the only two twists that have ever really, really surprised me, in a ‘well, that just left me speechless,’ sort of way. This book is just so clever and it surprised me time and time again.
I don’t want to say too much about the plot of I Let You Go, because I want you to read this book and be surprised, so I’m being intentionally (very) vague in that I’m side-stepping the plot entirely and focusing on other things.
Like the fact that before she was an author, Clare Mackintosh spent twelve years in the police force; something which adds a whole lot of authenticity to this book. I loved the fact that Mackintosh, while providing details of a very thorough police-investigation wasn’t overly technical either (I’ve read crime novels that are bogged down by technical detail, which sometimes makes for a boring read) but what I liked about Mackintosh’s writing was that she gave her characters DI Ray Stevens and his younger colleague, Kate lives outside the police force; I like that we got to spend time with Ray and his family, and I loved how no-nonsense Kate seemingly took everything in her stride. In fact, I was intrigued by Kate maybe most of all; we don’t get to know a lot about her as our view of her is provided via Stevens, but I feel like there could be an interesting backstory there, and that maybe we could follow her as she rises throughout the ranks with each new Mackintosh release.
I have no idea if this is the plan, just like I have no idea what Mackintosh’s next book will be, but whatever it is, I’m in.
While the first major plot-twist in this book is a doozy of epic proportions, it’s not the only trump card in this book. If fact, there is so much more to this book, which, in Part II introduces a major player in Jenna’s life, one whose narrative expands her story into a tale that is as compelling and as multi-layered as it is truly shocking and disturbing. A truly great debut, I Let You Go is hands down one of the best books I’ve read this year. If you loved The Girl on the Train, then make this your next read.