When the going gets tough, I dream of escape, running away. My bolthole of choice would be an isolated cottage within a stone’s throw of the sea. I would be able to wander on the beach, read books and take photos, completely undisturbed by anyone. So when a 5-year old boy is killed in a heartless hit-and-run accident and Jenna takes flight to Wales, it was this desertion which drew me in to Clare Mackintosh’s story. Away from prying eyes, Jenna stays hidden but gradually begins to shape a new life for herself.
Detectives Ray and Kate are assigned to investigate Jacob’s death but there are very few leads. The case goes cold, enquiries are halted. But Kate can’t quite give up: a year after the hit-and-run, a vital piece of information enables the Police to make an arrest. Jacob’s killer can finally be brought to trial.
This psychological thriller has been a massive bestseller and the novel is certainly engrossing. With deceptively simple prose, the author has woven a tight web. As Mackintosh is a former police officer, I have no doubt that she has drawn heavily on her own knowledge and experiences to bring a gritty realism to her work. However, I found the final scenes so harrowing to read, rather too graphic. Some will argue that the depiction of suffering is necessary in order to fully expose the horror of the victim’s pain and I understand that, it was just too much to bear. Like the victim, I just wanted it to end, whatever the outcome: the author made her point.
With more than one gripping plot twist and some finely-drawn characters, ‘I Let You Go’ is a rollercoaster of a read. Not for the faint-hearted though, not least because it has the tragic death of a small child at its core.