One of the authors I’ve been meaning to read since I began blogging is Clare Mackintosh and I have a couple of her books lurking on my TBR pile, so I was delighted when her psychological thriller I Let You Go turned out to be the choice for the U3A book group to which I belong. I’ll be interested to discover what they all thought of it on Monday but I’m sharing my views today!
Published by Little Brown imprint Sphere, I Let You Go is available for purchase through these links.
I Let You Go
A tragic accident. It all happened so quickly. She couldn’t have prevented it. Could she?
In a split second, Jenna Gray’s world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.
Slowly, Jenna 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 . . .
My Review of I Let You Go
On one evening for Jenna, events will spiral out of control affecting the rest of her life.
I found I Let You Go a completely absorbing and entertaining narrative that held me gripped throughout. There’s an intensity and menace from the start that doesn’t abate throughout. The plot is cleverly constructed and although I guessed some of the twists, others blindsided me with their cleverness. I thought Clare Mackintosh’s story was brilliantly constructed and I’m only sorry that this is my first reading of one of her books.
The title I Let You Go is so apposite because it could relate to the relationships Jenna has, the police and their investigations and various elements of the plot about which I can’t really comment without spoilers. Clare Mackintosh cleverly manipulated both plot and reader under her title so that there are moments of revelation and surprise that feel perfect.
I often find narratives from different perspectives frustrating, but in I Let You Go the balance between Jenna’s first person story and the third person elements relating to Ray and Kate works seamlessly. I was equally engaged with both aspects and desperate to know what would happen next. In fact, I’d go so far as to say these two strands are vital to allow the reader to recover from each ingeniously mastered section. Jenna and Ian in particular are fabulous creations. Their actions are so far removed from anything I might have experienced, but utterly believable and compelling. I Let You Go is a powerfully effective portrayal of the human psyche.
Alongside vivid descriptions of the Welsh coast and a twisty and thrilling narrative are weighty considerations for the reader too, so that I let You Go provides so much more than mere, albeit brilliant, entertainment. Clare Mackintosh made me confront the manner in which we are shaped by events and relationships, particularly abusive ones; she caused me to think about the ways the media and the public respond to those in the spotlight without necessarily having the full details and how crime and investigation can impact not only on the victims, but on those investigating too.
I Let You Go is a narrative that can be read and enjoyed on so many levels. Its one of those books that reverberates and has impact long after it has finished. It may be my first Clare Mackintosh book, but my goodness, it won’t be the last. At the risk of being completely clichéd, I could not put it down! It’s a cracking psychological thriller.
About Clare Mackintosh
Clare Mackintosh spent twelve years in the police force, including time on CID, and as a public order commander. She left the police in 2011 to work as a freelance journalist and social media consultant and is the founder of the Chipping Norton Literary Festival. She now writes full time and lives in North Wales with her husband and their three children.
Clare’s debut novel, I Let You Go, was a Sunday Times bestseller and the fastest-selling title by a new crime writer in 2015. It was selected for both the Richard and Judy Book Club (and was the winning title of the readers’ vote for the summer 2015 selection) and for ITV’s Loose Women’s Loose Books. It is a New York Times bestseller, with translation rights sold to more than 30 countries.
Her second psychological thriller, I See You, was a number 1 Sunday Times bestseller and Audible’s best selling psychological thriller in 2016. Translation rights have been sold to almost 30 countries.
Clare is the patron of the Silver Star Society, an Oxford-based charity which supports the work carried out in the John Radcliffe Hospital’s Silver Star unit, providing special care for mothers with medical complications during pregnancy.