Title: I Let You Go
Author: Clare Mackintosh
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Competition Win
Publication Date: 7th May 2015
Rating: 5 Stars
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 . . .
I always tend to struggle when it comes to reviewing these sorts of books, the blurb speaks for itself, and I am reluctant to say much more, as with the frequency of revealed information, I would hate to give you a spoiler.
What I will say is Jenna is a complex character, and in trying to escape the past, is slowly building herself a brighter new future. I found her an easy person to like, and even with the worst of the revelations, I was still on her side.
It was good to see not only one side of the accident, but also the chapters from Ray's point of view, as the DI in charge of investigating the accident, how he was determined to solve exactly what happened that night, despite there being very little evidence. It is somewhat heartening to see a police officer's dedication to making sure they have the correct culprit, no matter how long it takes. I was also fascinated by Ray's private life, and his interactions with his wife. I was convinced the story would go in one direction with him that could have been very obvious, and I'm glad it didn't, as this was far more interesting.
The descriptions of the small cottage on the coast of Wales, that Jenna runs to, and its surrounding area, paint what I believe is an accurate picture of Wales coastal life, out of season, right down the level of cold! I loved Jenna's new career, so simple and artistic, but yet not an idea that I have encountered before...I wonder if anyone is doing that in real life at all!
Since Clare Mackintosh has worked in the police force, it is in some respects unsurprising the level of detail she can talk about the police force with, but I'm guessing that with her background, it explains how she can get into the mind of a truly despicable person (who you first meet at the beginning of Part 2). I truly hope this is the first of many books from Clare, and I would happily be first in line to read her next one.
This is a truly remarkable, page-turning debut novel, and one that I loved reading. Definitely an author to watch out for, and if you haven't tried a psychological thriller before, than make this your first, as it is a brilliant example of the genre.