‘I Let You Go’ by Clare Mackintosh: Superb twisted thriller

let you go

Rating: 4 1/2 stars

“I Let You Go” by debut author Clare Mackintosh has been compared to psychological thrillers like “Gone Girl” and “The Girl on the Train.” The author spent twelve years working on criminal investigations and she is married to a police officer. The story stems from a case that she had worked on of a boy killed in a hit-and-run accident.

In this novel, Mackintosh delves into what happens when a tragedy like that occurs. In this story, the narrative is told by different people — the protagonist telling the story in first person. There is also the third person story of Ray and Kate, two Bristol police investigators trying to solve the mystery of who killed the young boy. Then, there is the mysterious narrative told in a strange-but-very-effective narrative which is first person, but unlike the protagonist’s first person narrative, this one is told as if talking to someone in the story — with abundant use of the word “you.”

The story also has a flashback which explains a lot. While it seems as if all the different narrators and time changes might be confusing, it all works wonderfully well. The story is intriguing and the book is very difficult to put down. Mackintosh’s writing is lovely. She has a knack for authentic dialogue and is able to give just enough description to make the reader feel involved, but she doesn’t include too much. The twist, when it comes, is totally unexpected, and shocking. In fact, most readers will go back and reread the beginning (at least) to see how brilliantly Mackintosh led the reader astray.

For those who long to travel to wild places with cliffs and ocean views, this book is the perfect medium — it is a great read during a “staycation,” or during a real vacation. And, for this reviewer, there’s the fact that a dog is rescued in the story. Perfect!

Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by the publisher, Berkley Hardcover, for review purposes.