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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

Review: I LET YOU GO, Clare Mackintosh

"The characters are absorbing, the story emotional, realistic, and chilling"


A tragic accident. It all happened so quickly. She couldn't have prevented it. Could she?

In a split second, Jenna Gray's world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.

Slowly, Jenna 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 . . .


The start of this novel throws the reader vividly into heartbreaking action. The subject matter is incredibly emotive, as it involves the hit and run death of a young boy, who slips from his mother’s grasp as she momentarily wipes a hair from across her face. From that moment on, what is produced is not just a straightforward detective novel, but also a wonderful piece of emotional writing. Still, after pages of the same thing I admit that my attention was starting to wander.

Then came the mid-way twist. It was so huge that not only did it grab my attention, but it annoyed me. I felt I’d been not just misdirected with clever writing, but also downright lied to. It annoyed me so much that I momentarily thought about putting the novel down and moving on to something else.

I’m glad I didn’t.

Once I had forced myself to read on, the book became far better paced, and much more interesting. What’s more, the twist is explained and justified – eventually – and it does make sense both plot-wise, and within the psychology of the characters.

This is a slightly unevenly paced story, but a brilliant one nonetheless. The characters are absorbing, the story emotional, realistic, and chilling - and the climax is well worth the wait.

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