This is a book that I’ve seen on bestseller lists, on posters in train stations, and floating around online for a while. I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh is a debut thriller released in 2014, proclaimed as being the next Gone Girl. I loved Gone Girl, so I was really excited to get my hands on a copy.
From the first few chapters, I was a little disappointed. The prose read as a debut novel, Mackintosh’s inexperience shown in awkward and cliche conversations between the characters. A few chapters in, however, it began to settle and I began to enjoy myself.
I Let You Go begins with the tragic hit and run of a five year old boy, followed by the investigation into his death. That’s really as much as I want to tell you. This book has one of the most shocking and unpredictable twists I’ve read in a long time; one that left me sat in disbelief and pure confusion, gathering my thoughts before I could move on. I really don’t want to ruin it for anyone, as this is what makes the book so good. The first half is mildly entertaining. You become comfortable and are lulled into a false sense of security, and then BAM. TWIST. WHAT!? HOW!? The second half is fast-paced and gripping, full of twists and turns.
To start with, I found the detectives a little bit annoying and the sexual tension between them made them slightly unlikable. I did warm to them as it went on, I just struggle to find people who consider having an affair likeable or relatable. I felt as if Mackinstosh wanted us to like them and to understand their personal struggles, but it ruined them for me slightly. That being said, I do wonder whether she will continue these characters into the next book she writes. It would be interesting to see how they develop.
I also have a small issue with the final twist at the end (I won’t give any spoilers). I just felt that it was unnecessary and implausible. Read the book and see if you agree with me.
Despite this, on the whole, the characters are compelling, the story is fast paced and shocking. Not for the faint-hearted – it is quite gory and upsetting at points, but this only adds to a wonderful and gripping thriller.
I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading whatever Clare Mackintosh comes up with next.