I Let You Go: Clare Mackintosh 

 I Let You Go is an October book club choice that I was determined to read after it completely polarised two of our members; one loving it and the other describing it as “Badly written, sensationalist, borderline exploitative”!

It is a little difficult to give a plot summary without giving away some major plot twists, but basically it deals with the aftermath of a hit and run in which a five year old boy is killed. Part One switches between the first person narration of Jenna Gray, who flees Bristol to an isolated Welsh cottage to deal with her grief, and the story of the detectives on the case. The second part introduces another narrator which provides background to the story.

Although not a great work of literature by any means, it is definitely a page turner with a couple of dramatic plot twists and a story which keeps you wanting to find out more. There are a lot of run of the mill tropes you always find in these sort of things- hardworking cops: one older male, one younger (attractive) female in a will-they-won’t-they relationship, the insular remote village who don’t take kindly to incomers, the kind people who win our protagonist’s trust in spite of herself… you know the sort of thing. I thought the ending was over-dramatic and a little predictable with an extra reveal which was unnecessary to the point of being far-fetched. I can see where my book club comrade is coming from with the ‘sensationalist’ and ‘borderline exploitative’ comments but for me it wasn’t as bad as Gone Girl for example.

I guess I should put some trigger warnings in here for people that might want to read it but may not want to read about these things, I could’ve done with one myself. Don’t read these if you ABSOLUTELY don’t want any spoilers but it does contain themes of abuse/ domestic abuse, child death, baby loss and stillbirth.

A generous 3 stars


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