Friday, 7 August 2015

Review - I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

I Let You Go is the debut novel by Clare Mackintosh which has made it into Richard and Judy’s 2015 Summer Book Club. This is one of those books that I had heard so much about before finally picking it up off my bookshelf and it had an awful lot to live up to. What I can say right now is that it not only met up to but exceeded my expectations. It was a stunning, well-written and truly gripping novel which absolutely blew me away. 

When our story starts it’s your typical autumn evening - rainy and windy - and little Jacob has just been picked up from school by his mother. They’ve been chatting away and, at long last, home is nearly in sight when in a split second everything changes as Jacob’s mother lets go of his hand and he runs across the road right into the path of an oncoming car which seemed to come from nowhere. With the driver fleeing the scene of the crime and the car disappearing just as fast as it arrived Jacob’s mother is left to deal with a loss no mother, or indeed, any parent should ever have to face. 

This very same moment in time also affected the lives of many others, Jenna for one who being unable to move on from the incident and desperate to escape a difficult relationship packs up her few precious belongings and runs to a small coastal village in Wales where no-one’s heard of her or the accident. But will she ever be able to escape the past, will it ever let her go? Enter DI Ray Stevens and DC Kate Evans. These two people will go to any lengths to see Jacob’s killer brought to justice even if that means working on the case when they have been given strict orders from above to close it. 

This novel is successfully written from the perspective of, mainly, Jenna and Ray although we hear the voice of another character who, to not ruin the surprise, will remain anonymous later on in the book. I found Ray’s perspective and watching the investigation unfold from the police perspective not only interesting but also very believable too - something that is to be expected given that Clare herself spent twelve years in the police force working in CID. 

As soon as I started reading this book, despite its very sad opening, I was hooked and desperate to discover who was behind such a terrible act. It had so many twists and turns throughout and everytime I thought I’d finally cracked it and knew who was behind the wheel on that day something happened that made me change my mind. 

This was one of those books that when I wasn’t reading it I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It really is a fantastic debut novel that comes highly recommended from me and yes, it’s safe to say I hope this is not the first and last we hear from Clare Mackintosh as I would certainly read many more of her novels. My only regret is that I left I Let You Go sitting on my bookshelf for so long unread. Fellow readers, don’t make the same mistake I did - if you’ve got this book pick it up, if you’ve not got this book go and buy it but whatever you do don’t miss out on it.