I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

Posted April 25, 2016 by Taryn in Reviews / 0 Comments


I received this book for free from First to Read in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I Let You Go by Clare MackintoshI Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
Published by Penguin Publishing Group on May 3rd 2016
Genres: Fiction, Mystery & Detective, Police Procedural, Thrillers, Crime, Psychological
Pages: 384
Format: Electronic ARC
Source: First to Read
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three-half-stars

3.5 Stars. Suspense novel with a gradual build and some shocking moments. Vague keywords for anyone who might be sensitive to certain issues that frequently appear in suspense novels: View Spoiler » (The spoiler-tagged text in this review is all vague/non-critical and no more than I have already seen posted elsewhere, but it is all stuff I would have rather not had on my mind while reading!)

On a rainy afternoon in Bristol, a mother lets go of her five-year-old son’s hand and he runs into the street. A speeding car hits and kills him. The callous driver quickly drives away from the scene. Visibility was low and there is very little evidence. I Let You Go is about the hunt for the driver and a woman consumed by the grief caused by the accident and the loss of her child.

The grief I feel is so physical it seems impossible that I am still living; that my heart continues to beat when it has been wrenched apart. I want to fix an image of him in my head, but all I can see when I close my eyes is his body, still and lifeless in my arms. I let him go, and I will never forgive myself for that.

Part One felt more like women’s fiction than a suspense novel. The story starts out slowly, but it was the kind of slow I like. Woman dealing with a traumatic incident and starting a new life near a chilly beach, complete with rocky cliffs? SOLD! In Part One, the police have very little to go on and are desperately searching for clues. The lead detective also has some domestic drama; his work has taken a toll on his marriage and his son is having issues at school. The lead investigator’s chapters alternate with Jenna Gray’s chapters. Jenna is traumatized by the accident and has fled to an isolated coastal community in Wales to grieve and start a new life. View Spoiler »

And the photos of the son I loved with an intensity that seemed impossible. Precious photographs. So few for someone so loved. Such a small impact on the world, yet the very center of my own.

Part Two is when the plot kicks into high gear and it starts feeling more like a thriller. I gasped! View Spoiler »

I see the look on his face […] I used to tell myself it was contrition—although he never once apologized—but now I realize it was fear. Fear that I would see him for the man he really is. Fear that I would stop needing him.

The parts I didn’t like:
• Young, hard-working recruit is totally open to the advances of her middle-aged married boss. Just once I’d like the young woman to be like, “Ew, no,” but I guess that isn’t much of a story. View Spoiler »
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Despite the subject matter, the writing style is really pleasant and I was really captivated by this book. At first I Let You Go reminded me of What She Knew (woman makes split second decision that results in a traumatic incident for her child), but it quickly became its own unique story. It also covers a much longer period of time. I recommend this book for those who are fans of both suspense novels and women’s fiction.

“They’ll put everything straight,” he says. “It’ll be like it never happened.”
No, I think, it could never be like that.

 

three-half-stars

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