Title: I Let You Go
Author: Clare Mackintosh
No. of Pages: 384
Release Date: 3 May 2016
“On 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.”
My Thoughts: I swore to myself that I would not cave to yet another pitch espousing a killer twist and edge-of-your-seat thrills. I caved fairly quickly. Let’s face it; I think I am a sucker for any sort of thriller. At least I always start thrillers dubious that they are really going to live up to the hype. That’s something, right? In this case, thank goodness I did. Otherwise, I probably would have done the rare DNF.
I Let You Go starts out slowly. Very slowly. It will make you question why you ever started reading the book. There is a stalled police investigation into the hit-and-run accident that resulted in the death of a child and the two investigators’ growing attraction to each other. Then there is the depressed Jenna trying to forge a new life in a remote Welsh village. The story plods along as you would expect it. Then there is the “twist” and suddenly, things become a lot more interesting.
This twist is not really a twist but more of a situation where certain pieces of the puzzle come together in such a way so that you can finally see the whole picture. The twist is actually a brilliant piece of writing that does not necessarily change the game but puts the game into an entirely new context. To say anymore will be to spoil the surprise, but suffice it to say that the twist, when it did come, was enough to make me take a renewed interest in the story and thoroughly appreciate Ms. Mackintosh’s writing.
The rest of the story is equally predictable but still interesting given what you now know about the various characters. Speaking of which, the characters are fairly one-dimensional and essentially nothing more than your standard cast necessary for all good police procedurals. The ending is a bit too pat, for real life is seldom as clean, but it is in keeping with the rest of the book. The “twist” is what takes I Let You Go beyond mediocrity. It is a case of damning with faint praise, but if it were not for the revelation in the middle of the story it would be just one more decent but highly predictable thriller.
It’s the old question of whether a bad ending can ruin a book or a good ending can save it. I’m still not sure.
In this case, it is a question of whether one simple plot device can save a book. I am inclined to think so, even though I totally recognize the fact that the story is pretty boring without the “twist.”
You have me curious about this Twist. I will check it out
I almost gave up on this one but just read a 5 star review and now yours, that gives me enough to still want to try it since I love thrillers.
And HA, you not fall for another pitch, right Michelle 🙂
Believe it or not, I do turn down more pitches than it appears. I am getting closer to finding that happy medium.
Love your review. I completely agree that the beginning was so slow, I almost gave up. I was glad it got interesting after the twist, although like you said, a bit predictable. Still it was worth reading!
That “twist”! I want to yell my love for it from the rooftops!