Author: Clare Mackintosh
Publish Date: May 3, 2016 by Berkley
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Paperback: 384 pages
My Rating: 4 stars
On a rainy afternoon, a mother’s life is shattered as her son slips from her grip and runs into the street…
I Let You Go follows Jenna Gray as she moves to a ramshackle cottage on the remote Welsh coast, trying to escape the memory of the car accident that plays again and again in her mind, desperate to heal from the loss of her child and the rest of her painful past.
At the same time, the novel tracks the pair of Bristol police investigators trying to get to the bottom of this hit-and-run. As they chase down one hopeless lead after another, they find themselves as drawn to each other as they are to the frustrating, twist-filled case before them.
This book and author have been on my radar for quite awhile. I think I hesitated to read it for so long because a story about a mother losing her child didn’t sound like something I wanted to read about. I had also heard that the first half of the book moves at a slower pace than the second half. I need not have worried though – the book has over 53,000 four and five star reviews on Goodreads for a reason!
The book is divided into two parts. Part One takes place after the accident as Jenna Gray is trying to put her life back together by starting over in a remote cottage on the Welsh coast. The chapters alternate between Jenna and the police officers back home who refuse to let go of the search to find the hit and run driver even though the clues are few and far between. Part One is part mystery and part police procedural. The author is dropping tiny little morsels of information that had me riveted. I was so invested in these characters. For me that’s the sign of good writing – when I’m so intrigued by the characters that I want to keep reading even when there’s not a lot of action going on. But everything in the first half of the book lays the groundwork for the second half, and as you transition to the second half of the book there is a jaw dropping moment – a twist if you will – that literally had my jaw hanging open in the restaurant in which I was eating at the time!
After you pick your jaw up off the floor, Part Two alternates between incidents leading up to the accident and part police procedural again. The author continues to drop little bits of information that help you start to piece together what happened. It’s one of those stories, that as a reviewer, you don’t want to go into too much detail, lest you spoil it for the reader. I thought it was brilliantly plotted with masterful twists. There’s even some ambiguity with the title “I Let You Go”. Who let’s who go? Maybe it doesn’t mean what you think it means, and I’ll leave you with that!