I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

I was stupid to think I could escape the past. However fast I run, however far: I will never outrun it.

Title - I Let You Go
Author - Clare Mackintosh 
Publication Date - 7th May 2015
Publisher - Sphere
Format - Paperback (Provided via publisher)
Pages - 384

The blurb

A tragic accident. It all happened so quickly. She couldn't have prevented it. Could she?

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...

Becca's thoughts

Before I get started on my review, I'd just like say a massive thank you to the wonderful Kirsteen Astor from Little, Brown UK for popping a gorgeous proof of I Let You Go in the post for me. I was utterly thrilled when it arrived, and couldn't wait to get started. Before it had even arrived, I'd seen lots of readers and bloggers raving about it on Twitter, and I was incredibly interested to see exactly what it was that they were raving about. Now that I've finished reading, and my crazy, bookish thoughts have finally settled down, I UNDERSTAND WHY THEY WERE RAVING!!!

I feel like I need to point out that just lately, I seem to have fallen head over heels in bookish love with psychological thrillers. I don't know why, and I don't even know when it happened, but they're definitely, definitely growing on me, and I feel that I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh has been, in a way, like the cherry on the cake. It had everything that I'd hope to find in this particular genre, and so much more.

From the very first moment that I turned the page and began to read I Let You Go, I knew that I was going to enjoy this book. Clare's writing managed to set the tone and the atmosphere of the opening of the book perfectly, and there was a definite sense of foreboding in there that gripped me tightly and ensured that I didn't turn away or put it down. With the tragic, shocking circumstances that Clare provided me with from the get-go, and the characters that despite knowing so little about them had my deepest sympathies, the beginning of I Let You Go truly set the intense, dramatic tone that remained firm throughout the entirety of the novel. I'm a romance lover, through and through, but I Let You Go provided me with the sort of heart-hammering, grippingly thrilling read that every book lover should experience, whether it's their "thing", or not. 

Once the plot truly took off, I feel as if I raced through, and reached the ending panting and breathless and in a messed up twirl of emotions. Clare wrote this with such a fantastic pace, and not once did I feel as I was losing interest or that it was dragging. The author focused perfectly only when she needed to, meaning I wasn't reading and wondering when something exciting would happen. Whilst reading, it felt to me as if there something constantly humming beneath the surface, that something earth-shattering was about to happen or about to burst through the surface, and this feeling spurred me on even more. Clare kept the character's secrets well hidden throughout the entirety of the book, but I was kept fully aware that they were there. The plot held me captivated right the way through, and when finished, I felt completely and utterly satisfied. 

Clare's characters were exceptional. Not only is the reader focusing on Jenna, but Clare expertly switches the narrative between Ray, Detective Inspector and much later on, Ian, a horrifying man who plays a twisted role in Jenna's past. We also meet Kate, who works alongside Ray, and Mags, Ray's stay-at-home wife. Despite this entire story involving a terrible accident, as if almost circling that, Clare includes much small troubles too, mainly including Ray and Mags' relationship and children. I loved this because, as a reader, it provided me with a small respite from the seriousness of the accident and it's consequences on the characters. Clare's characters were all brilliantly structured, and seemed solid and believable to me. For the first time in a long time, I actually enjoyed the detective side of things, which hasn't happened before, it just doesn't please when me when reading, but in I Let You Go, I was incredibly interested to see what the detective team would find out in regards to the case, and always felt a small thrill when the narrative returned to Ray. In fact, each time the narrative changed, I couldn't wait to find out more about the next character that I was given, which made this read all the more pleasing and enjoyable. 

      I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh was absolutely exceptional. I was kept guessing right the way through, had secrets hidden from me, and found out things before the characters even knew them themselves. Clare moulded this story into something incredibly addictive and haunting, but at the same time, thrilling and invigorating. Every page turned was another step closer to figuring out what had truly happened, and what had led the characters to where they had ended up. Intricate pasts wound around tragic endings, and unveiled truths that had me slapping a hand to my mouth. I cannot tell you how absolutely thrilling this book was, a ribboned mystery unravelling in my hands.

Becca's Books is rating I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh with FIVE GORGEOUS CUPCAKES. Even now, after having absorbed everything, I'd gladly read again, just for the sheer thrill of it. 


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