I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh follows Jenna Gray as she moves away to a small beat-down shack on the coast, hoping to mask the memory of the car accident and the memory of the loss of her child. She must decide what’s important to her as her painful past catches up with her.
During this time, the Bristol police investigators are tracking down hopeless lead after another in order to find out who was driving the car that killed the young boy. The case follows twists and turns as the investigation begins to unfold.
If there’s one thing I love, it’s a good psychological thriller. I love the twists, the turns and the deception. Some are stronger than others, but I generally enjoy most that I read. The unreliable narratives and deceptive characters always pull me in and spit me out with a twist that keeps me reeling for days.
Wow, this book definitely delivered those feelings. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first started this book, and I was shocked by some of the twists and turns this story took. This one quickly climbed up my list of favorite psychological thrillers. The vibes of this book are somewhat dark and claustrophobic at times, which helps add to the unease.
“Such a small impact on the world, yet the very centre of my own.”
This book started out a little slow. The first half didn’t fly nearly as fast as the second half, but for good reason. There needed to be a solid base built before it was all torn down. I didn’t mind the slower pace in the first half, especially with such a brilliant twist in the second half. The twist in this book was one of the most powerful and beautifully executed twists I’ve ever encountered.
The writing in this book makes it hard for me to believe that this is Mackintosh’s debut novel. It was brilliant and thought-provoking. Whether it was disgust or pity, I felt strongly about the characters. This novel clearly shows that unexpected accidents have strong consequences for many people. The grief in this book is heavy and much deeper than expected.
“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.”
The switching between the cops and Jenna brought a three-dimensional view on the entire investigation. You felt the grief while also seeing the impact it had on officers and their families. Being able to see into the lives of people involved in this devastating case brings new and unexpected light to the topic of grief and loss.
Even though I went into this book knowing there were going to be some twists, it definitely didn’t take away from the impact, nor did it give away the twist. Even when I was subconsciously looking for a twist to happen it caught me completely off-guard. I love having my mind blown by a great book, and this one definitely didn’t let me down.
“My steps feel lighter now and I realize it’s because I’m running toward something, and not away from it.”
In short, I can’t recommend this book enough. I recommend it to people who love psychological thrillers, mysteries and thrillers in general. I have to applaud Mackintosh for such a well-written, quick-paced debut. And seriously, that twist! I can’t wait to get my hands on her second novel. I truly hope the second novel stands up to this one. Despite the title, this book definitely didn’t let me go.