Friday, 17 July 2015

Book Review: I Let you Go

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
My rating: 5 of 5

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 . . .

This is an expertly constructed psychological thriller where all the complex threads are drawn together cleanly and cleverly at the end. A key question is presented to the reader at the start: If you'd knocked down a child, under what circumstances would you not stop to help or own up?

From the outset and with a ‘sleight of hand’, the reader is led to believe certain aspects of the story (some readers have suggested the author deliberately leads the reader up the wrong path - and this is true to some extent). The narrator sounds reliable, but is missing out huge chunks of information!

The first part of the novel is a slow burn with questions surrounding Jenna, who moves to a remote holiday location to rebuild her life after the death of her son. Alongside this runs the police investigation of a hit and run, which through lack of witnesses and evidence, doesn't get off the ground until later, but has a compelling interplay between the well-meaning detectives. For the first part of the book, the title appears to refer to what we know at the opening - then in Part II, we realise it means something entirely different - very devious!

Everything is turned upside down at the start of Part II, around half-way, where a new first person narrative cranks up the tension and we become aware of what Jenna is really up against - and the police investigation starts to make progress. There's another twist at the end and plenty of jeopardy making the second half a genuine page-turner. Highly recommended as a very polished debut novel!

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  •  Girl on a Train also became a Number One Bestseller in the entire Kindle Chart in Australia (2015)
  •  Awarded Amazon KDP All-Star Bonus for being a Top 100 most-read Author in UK (2015)

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