I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

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I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

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Buy I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Crime
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: A crime thriller with some startling twists, this is a compelling read you will plough through in no time
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 384 Date: May 2015
Publisher: Sphere
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0751554151

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A hit and run. A young boy killed. A family devastated.

How can a mother ever recover from seeing her child killed right in front of her? When there are no leads, how can the police know where to look to bring someone to justice?

It’s really hard to describe this book without giving too much away, and to do this would surely ruin it to some extent, because what makes this story so unique are the (several) astonishing twists that are impossible to predict and impossible to ignore. I had lots of ideas in mind as I read, but I could not have been further from the truth and the second large twist was perhaps even more delicious than the first because I thought all the secrets had come out by that point.

The word ‘compelling’ is, I think, over-used in book reviews but here it is wholly warranted. Part one hooked me in, but part two really didn’t let me go and the new voice introduced at this point was dangerously alluring. I loved the two dimensions, from Jenna’s point of view and from the police team’s, and while not everything was immediately relevant to the outcome, I appreciated the effort to include family life in the story to show the competing demands on people’s time (and sanity). The police details, in fact, were great and I felt the author’s background shining through here. Her knowledge was a clear asset to the evolution of the story.

This is a book that is extremely disturbing but it creeps up on you slowly, much as it creeps up on Jenna herself, and emotions run high as true colours are revealed. At the same time, I loved that it opened so swiftly, without any messing around. The shock of such a brutal and immediate start is even better than that feeling of dread you get in your stomach when you know something bad is just around the corner but you still have to keep reading until it happens.

This book flows perfectly. The switches in narrative are smooth and effortless, and it almost felt as if there were two or three people in a room with me, taking it in turns to tell their side, rather than the unrelated concurrent accounts you sometimes find. It wasn’t rushed or clumsily put together, it simply felt natural.

As a psychological thriller, this one is perfect, leaving you questioning what you know and wondering why you’ve jumped, probably mistakenly, to conclusions. If I hadn’t been so desperate to get to the end of the story, I would have stopped at the end of part one to re-read it and look for clues I’d clearly missed.

I’d like to thank the publishers for sending us this book to review. I really enjoyed it.

If you like unforeseeable twists, Under Your Skin by Sabine Durrant also comes highly recommended.

Booklists.jpg I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh is in the Top Ten Crime Novels of 2015.

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Buy I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh at Amazon.com.


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Isabelle Wiggett said:

I bought this book a year ago ! And from the minute I started to read it , I was totally spellbound ! The twists and turns in the novel had me addicted. One of the best books I've read in along time ! An author to definitely keep tabs on !!

Richard Saunders said:

Even though I knew in advance that there was a major plot twist, when it came it completely floored me. I found the second big twist near the end of the book less convincing though. The book is quite harrowing to read in parts and the descriptions of police procedure and the prison and courtroom scenes are very realistic, as one would expect from a former police officer. My only question was the outcome of the courtroom sentencing scene, which seemed unlikely, but I must assume it’s authentic. The downbeat ending seemed like a mistake to me, as if the author had seen too many horror films. Overall though, as a psychological crime thriller I thought it as good as anything by Ruth Rendell. (PS In the edition I read, a kitten changes sex within a few lines, but I could see no other typos, which is rare these days.)

Richard Saunders