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If you liked Girl on the Train, you’ll love I Let You Go
By Helen Heath
There’s a plethora of crime thriller novels out there, but finding one that really draws you wholeheartedly into another world is tricky. Clare Mackintosh, however, sets a whole new precedent with her debut novel, I Let You Go. Concentrating on the after-effects of an accident in which five year old Jacob is killed and his mother’s life ruined, Mackintosh expertly explores a variety of emotions, mainly those affecting her protagonist, Jenna. After Jacob dies, Jenna decides to leave behind her old life in Bristol and settle in a remote cottage beside a caravan park in south Wales. Although she is plagued by nightmares, she begins to build a new life, but can never block out the painful memories of that day.
With so many twists and turns, it is impossible to guess the author’s next move. Predictable, this novel definitely isn’t. And without giving too much away, it becomes about so much more than just a hit and run. As a psychological game of cat and mouse begins, the author very much draws the reader into Jenna’s story, the main thread of the novel carefully intertwined with a sub-plot focusing on two detectives leading the case, and their battle for justice. As an ex-police officer herself, Mackintosh tells the story with a great attention to detail and realism. But it is her focus on such a wide variety of human emotions: disbelief, guilt, heartache, fear, anger, that makes this novel outstanding.
I find it hard to believe that this is Clare Mackintosh’s first novel. It is written with such ease and flair, and a complex story is told without confusion or lack of flow. Thoroughly impressive and I look forward to reading her next work. I Let You Go gets 4 out of 5 stars.
Helen Heath is an MA Journalism student at Manchester Met. Besides writing, she has a passion for music, singing and writing songs. Twitter @HelenHeath5.