I am very late getting around to reading this after hearing about it for more than a year. But I am so glad I finally managed to find time to fit it it because it’s brilliant! Jacob’s mother experiences what must be every parents’ nightmare when her five year old son slips out of her hand and dashes across the road, only to be knocked down and killed in a hit and run. A fraction of a second and Jenna’s life has changed forever. The story in told in alternate chapters mostly by Jenna and also from the point of view of DI Ray Stevens, one of the investigating officers. A third voice comes in in the second part of the book. Ray and his team, particularly young trainee detective Kate, have been very affected by the death of young Jacob and are determined to find the driver but have very little to go on. Jenna, struggling to cope, quietly disappears from her life and moves to a cottage on the remote Welsh coast.
On an unseasonably cold April day I sat by the fire, picked this book up and didn’t stop till I was finished. I was so involved with the stories. I really wanted the police to find out who the hit and run driver was and it was fascinating following their efforts to get to the truth. Ray was a great character and he is the officer we get to know most, finding out about his home life with a marriage looking slightly rocky, an almost teenage son having trouble adjusting to his new school and a younger daughter who is still a daddy’s girl. Jenna’s story was equally compelling as she began to make a life for herself with her self-imposed guilt hanging over her like a cloud. She slowly begins to make friends with the locals although still tries to keep herself quite isolated. Bethan in particular was just lovely. I could tell she knew that Jenna needed friendship and support but never pushed her way in. The local vet Patrick becomes a close friend and as they take tentative steps towards a relationship, Jenna begins to think she might have a chance at happiness again but can she trust him with her secrets?
Before I started reading I knew that lots of people had commented on the incredible twist in the book. I’m not sure how I feel about even knowing there is a twist as you then read looking for it. But as it’s mentioned on quotes on the cover and inside, I feel I can say that yes there is a HUGE twist, yes I did wonder and try to guess all the way through what it might be but no, I had no idea! Very cleverly done, so clever that I immediately went back to the beginning to check how I had managed to miss the truth. Following the startling revelation, the book takes on a much darker tone as Jenna’s past starts to catch up with her. Jenna was such a great character. You feel such sympathy for her and the memories she is trying to escape. And then you’re not sure what to feel for her. And then you may well feel very protective to her. Clare Mackintosh provokes so many emotions as you read.
This was just a brilliant read, with such well rounded characters and believable twists and turns. A real page turner, I was racing through the last few chapters desperate to find out what was going to happen. I know that Clare Mackintosh has a new book due out soon (I See You, July 2016) and I can’t wait to read it. I certainly won’t leave it on the to-be-read list for as long as this gripping début!
I Let You Go was published by Sphere in November 2014 and is available in all formats. You can buy a copy here: I Let You Go
From the back of the book
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 . . .