I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

Setting:  England and Wales


  • Jenna Gray
  • Detective Inspector Ray Stevens
  • Kate, a detective on Ray’s team

Plot:  I Let You Go is told through a couple of points of view. Ray and Kate’s side of the story detail a tragic car accident that took the life of a five-year-old boy. There are no leads to follow and the case quickly stalls and goes cold. The detectives are pressured to drop the case, but both Ray and Kate feel a responsibility to the little boy’s mother, each of them yearning to prove that her child’s death mattered and that they were doing all they could to find whoever was responsible. On the other side of the story is Jenna Gray. A depressed artist at the end of her rope who, after the horrible accident that takes the life of the little boy, walks away from England to start her life over again in a small village in Wales.

Pacing:  I’ll be honest; this story starts out slowly. I nearly gave up on it a couple of times because I just couldn’t find the hook of interest to keep me reading. But I had heard so much about it and read other reviews praising the plot and the story and the twists and turns therein and so I kept reading. And I’m glad I did.

Predictability:  Low. Totally did not see the twists coming.

Wild Card:  It’s hard to write about and review this book because I’m loath to state anything that could in any way give up essential elements of the story and ruin the experience for future readers. However, I will say that I Let You Go is a thrilling and compelling read. What you think you know, you don’t know fully; kind of like trying to piece together a jigsaw puzzle without the benefit of knowing what the final picture is supposed to look like. The character of Jenna is intriguing in a lot of ways and I think most readers will be able to identify with and understand her – not to mention feel incredible sympathy towards her. There are some scenes in this book that are quite difficult to read; Clare Mackintosh creates mental images that are hauntingly memorable and very disturbing at the same time; it’s an admirable thing to be so talented that you can evoke such strong emotions in a reader.

Hit, Miss, or Draw:  Hit.

About the Book
26026062On a rainy afternoon, a mother’s life is shattered as her son slips from her grip and runs into the street . . .

I Let You Go follows Jenna Gray as she moves to a ramshackle cottage on the remote Welsh coast, trying to escape the memory of the car accident that plays again and again in her mind and desperate to heal from the loss of her child and the rest of her painful past.

At the same time, the novel tracks the pair of Bristol police investigators trying to get to the bottom of this hit-and-run. As they chase down one hopeless lead after another, they find themselves as drawn to each other as they are to the frustrating, twist-filled case before them. Elizabeth Haynes, author of Into the Darkest Corner, says, “I read I Let You Go in two sittings; it made me cry (at least twice), made me gasp out loud (once), and above all made me wish I’d written it . . . a stellar achievement.”

8509533.jpgAbout the Author
Clare Mackintosh is a Sunday Times bestselling psychological thriller author.

Clare spent twelve years in the police force, including time on CID, and as a public order commander. She left the police in 2011 to work as a freelance journalist and social media consultant and now writes full time.

Clare’s debut novel, I Let You Go, was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller for 12 weeks, and was the fastest selling title by a new crime writer in 2015. It was selected for both the Richard and Judy Book Club and ITV’s Loose Women’s ‘Loose Books’ and has been translated into more than 30 languages. It has sold more than 600,000 copies to date. In July 2016 Clare received the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award and won the Cognac Prix du Polar for International Novel of the Year that autumn.

Clare’s second book, I See You, was published in the UK in July 2016, with rights sold to more than 20 countries. It charted at number 1 in the Sunday Times hardback bestseller list.

Clare is a patron of the Silver Star Society, a charity based at the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford which supports parents experiencing high-risk or difficult pregnancies. She lives in North Wales with her husband and their three children.

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