I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
In a split second, Jenna Gray's world is shattered. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape her past, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of the cruel November night that changed her life for ever.DI Ray Stevens is tasked with seeking justice for a mother who is living every parent's worst nightmare. Determined to get to the bottom of the case, it begins to consume him as he puts both his professional and personal life on the line.As Ray and his team seek to uncover the truth, Jenna, slowly, 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.
I like to think of myself as a clever little cookie when it comes to psychological thrillers. More often than not, I've worked it all out before long, and read through the rest of the novel simply to see if I'm right; I usually am. I Let You Go left me utterly captivated, confused, and out of my depth. I had thought I'd known what was going into happen until Mackintosh sent the entire plot spinning around my ears with the twist of the year. I was comfortable with the plot, and the shift in perspective hit me like a punch. I'd only just recovered enough before she smacked me with another one.
This is one of those novels which will be incredibly difficult to review without giving anything away. It's very cleverly written, with a perfect pace. Mackintosh had me entirely under her spell; sickened and lovestruck in all the right places. There are some very uncomfortable scenes which evoke the reader's feelings amazingly well, but which might be potential triggers for those familiar with abuse; I'm not sure I'd recommend it in certain situations for those reasons.
The narrative shifts each chapter from Jenna's perspective to that of the police team investigating the incident. I really love this type of style as it gives a great rounded view of the situation. I felt Jenna was more developed, however, and some of the characters involved in the police side of things were left with loose ends in the finale. I did like them, though, and would have appreciated some more backstory. Mackintosh may use them in another novel, or perhaps work them into a series, and if that was the case, I'd definitely read it.
Utterly addictive, powerful, and impossible to stop reading; if you liked The Girl on the Train, this is better. Mackintosh has done her research, and I absolutely cannot fault her. Please pick this up if you're looking for something to get your heart pumping.