By: Clare Mackintosh
Publication Date: 5/3/2016
My Rating: 5 Stars Top Books of 2016 The next blockbuster thriller for those who loved The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl...a novel with "an astonishing intensity that drags you in and never—ever—lets you go." (Daily Mail, UK) 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 and 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.
Elizabeth Haynes, author of Into the Darkest Corner, says, “I read I Let You Go in two sittings; it made me cry (at least twice), made me gasp out loud (once), and above all made me wish I'd written it . . . a stellar achievement.”
A special thank you to Penguin and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. British author Claire Mackintosh delivers an emotional and powerful multi-layered psychological domestic suspense debut, I LET YOU GO. Cleverly Crafted. Chilling. Twisty. Mind-blowing. Head-spinning. Mysterious. Intriguing. Dark. Intense! Hang on readers "Warning" A tornado (not a train, has been a little overused) is coming your way, (not a watch, a warning),and everyone in its path is in danger. Disaster. Pervading like an endless storm. Ruthless. Uprooting, creating chaos. No matter where you turn, it follows. Limited options. Its power is unleashed. It is twisty, violent, dangerous, unpredictable, no terrain is safe, with devastating damage; far reaching aftermath. You can live in the wreckage and pretend, or crawl from the rubble and rebuild. A past is like a storm: It will sneak up on you, when you least expect. Jenna Gray is tortured by the brutal tragedy of five-year-old boy, Jacob Jordan. The seconds, it took for him to be killed in a hit-and-run accident one rainy night. He runs across the street, slipping from his mother’s grasp. The driver gets away. Failed to stop. The accident continues to play a loop in her head. She wishes the car had hit her instead. Her life has changed, and she cannot go on. Desperate to escape her own guilt, she runs to the coast of Wales. Once a sculptor, now invisible. A sculptor who doesn’t sculpt. A mother without a child. She wants to be alone with her thoughts, and become a recluse, living in a small remote seaside cottage. Attempting to drown the nightmares and screams. She wants to protect herself and anyone close to her from being hurt again. However, little by little, she begins to gain confidence, and begins a new career as a photographer. People are trying to get close. Can she let down her guard? Will her life ever have purpose again? She thrives on the isolation. Peace from an impending storm. A disaster waiting to happen. Is she chasing a storm or running from it? In the meantime, Detectives Ray and Kate are on the case with little or no leads—attempting to solve the mystery—no clues, or an identity of the person driving the car. The victim’s mother disappears and she is the only witness. Some personal dynamics between the two detectives, and politics adding a side line to the story. (do not stress about this--focus on the story at hand). Got to have some fluff. What sort of monster kills a five-year-old boy, then drives off? How are they going to attain justice for the boy? Most people had two reactions when they lost someone: either vowed to never move anything, a shrine, or the opposite—a clean break. Assuming the latter the case for this young mother with a past. Approaching the anniversary date, possibly a last-ditch effort to uncover something. Something is not quite right. What is Jenna Gray hiding? The evidence is telling Ray one thing and his instinct telling him another. A mix of grief, domestic violence, secrets, fears, threats, evil. Where nothing is as it appears. A more sinister monster is lurking. What is she not saying? Who really killed Jacob? Someone has to pay. Lost lives. Can you run from your past? A Twisted. Demented. Psycho! With a Part One and Part Two (the best), you almost have two books in one with a wide range of reviews. Crafty Plot (s). Multi-layered and complex. Two women. Strangers.What do they have in common? Without giving away the good parts, the reader will have to make their own delicious discoveries. Both chilling and compassionate. Complex and sometimes confusing. Readers will be glued to the pages, seeking justice for the victims. Note to readers: It is ok to question, "What in the heck? No, you are not crazy. The mysterious vivid coastal seaside (cliff) setting, adds even more intrigue. The storylines connect for an explosive heart-pounding conclusion. For fans enjoying a nice mix of psychological, crime, domestic suspense, mystery and cop procedural. With added inspiration from the author, (an expert), further enhancing the overall reading experience-a heart wrenching story of loss, and the strength to move on. Can you ever outrun your past? You know something dark is coming, like a tornado funnel. Readers will be kept in suspense to the final conclusion. It is worth it in the end. Stay alert, you do not want to miss a thing. PS. Even the new cover design, reminds me of a strong dark coastal storm approaching. A fitting title “I Let You Go” with multiple meanings and a constant theme throughout the book. Can't wait for I See You, Coming July, 2016 UK. Not sure when we will see this highly anticipated followup, in the US; hopefully SOON! A movie? We can only hope it is the making.
About the Author
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 now writes full time.Clare’s debut novel, I Let You Go, is a Sunday Times Bestseller and is the fastest selling title by a new crime writer this year. It has been selected for both the Richard and Judy Book Club and ITV’s Loose Women’s ‘Loose Books’. Read More
"A terrific, compelling read with an astonishing twist that floored me. I loved it and did not want it to end." --Peter James
"A hugely assured and gripping debut and a twist that made me green with envy."---Mark Billingham
"With its authentic voices, switchback twists and delicate character studies, this is a rewarding read from a writer with a real understanding of what makes a gripping crime novel." --Sarah Hilary
"I read I Let You Go in two sittings; it made me cry (at least twice), made me gasp out loud (once) and above all made me wish I'd written it. Absorbing, authentic and deeply unsettling: a stellar achievement, and so deliciously clever ." ---Elizabeth Haynes
"A heart-wrenchingly emotional psychological thriller with stunning twists and turns. Deft and seamless, it pulls you in from page one and doesn't let you go."-- Julie Cohen
"A disturbing, page-turning thriller that barely loosens its grip." -- Paula Daly
"I Let You Go is a chilling tale with characters that are so well drawn, you can feel their pleasure and pain on each step of the journey. I was hooked from the brilliant start to the unexpected finish. " --- Rachel Abbott
"From the chilling and tragic opening, to the very last page, I literally couldn't read fast enough. The writing is captivating, and the narrative addictive. With one thrill after another, a sense of menace and fear hanging heavy throughout and a cracking ending that I won't forget for a long time." --Samantha Hayes
"Extraordinarily atmospheric, Mackintosh's emotional debut doesn't miss a beat." --Alex Marwood, author of The Wicked Girls