I Let You Go: A Novel. Clare Mackintosh. Sphere Publishing. May 2015. 371 pp. ISBN#: 9780751554151.
Jenna and Jacob, mother and son, are so very close. Jenna delights in her son’s zest for living, and despite a failed marriage Jenna devotes her life to her son. She’s always so careful with him when they are out until one day she lets go of his hand and Jacob is violently hit by a car who then veers away and leaves the scene of the crime. Words cannot convey the depth of Jenna’s grief at that moment and in the days that follow but this author conveys the awfulness of that moment with great skill. Jenna’s life literally comes to a halt with that moment and although the police immediately try to find the hit and run driver, they are unsuccessful.
With that last vestige of hope, Jenna decides she has to get away from their home and that street with its traumatic memories. But one can’t run away from memories! Jenna picks up her life and few belongings and escapes to a small Welsh seashore town where she finds a home far from people. Unknown to her, Investigator Ray Stevens and his team are determined not to stop looking, although the media and police are moving on to more current tragedies.
Meanwhile Jenna meets Patrick Mathews who finds her engaging but who also senses her ambivalence about any kind of relationship. He’s got his own story as well. When Ray Stevens begins to get a sense of who the killer might be, the story takes some wild twists and turns and the reader is totally unprepared for the shocking ending.
It’s hard to call this book a “thriller,” especially with so mind-numbing a topic as the death of a 5 year-old child but this story evolves into just that name of psychological thriller. The pain and tension are so intense it’s like the reader has become part of these characters’ lives. Read this heart-ripping, romantic (yes, a wee bit of that midway) and satisfying mystery. Amazing first novel, Clare Mackintosh!!! Highly recommended!
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