Author: Clare Mackintosh
Published: 2014 (this edition 2015)
‘I let you go’ by Clare Mackintosh tells the story of a five year old boy killed in a hit and run, and the local police’s search for his killer. The book is so ‘twisty’ that it may actually be difficult to review without giving too much away, but one thing I CAN tell you is that it’ll have you hooked from the prologue! For the first time in ages, I found myself becoming completely lost in a novel, and wasn’t even deterred by the depressing subject matter. If this isn’t enough to make you Santo red the book, it contains one of the best twists I’ve ever read!
Surprisingly, one strong point of ‘I let you go’ is the fact its characters don’t distract from the complex storyline, whilst still managing never to be boring- even the stereotypical police characters served their purpose. The characters all feel somewhat real, with emotions ranging from anger to anguish described rather realistically. Readers will all emphasise with one particular character’s needs to escape and rebuild their life. Without spoiling the book at all, I can tell you that one character I disliked was Kate as I found her somewhat irritating, although this didn’t detract from the book as a whole. In fact, the only predictable or boring thing about the book was the way I was able to guess what would happen between certain characters. That being said, trying to work out which characters were or were not lying was an extremely enjoyable pass time, as was seeing certain lies unravel. I won’t risk giving too my away, but one character in the second half of the book really is well-written.
With regards to the actual narrative, the book is extremely well-written, especially considering it is Mackintosh’s debut novel. At first I disliked the dual narration- particularly the way one character was written in the third person and one the first- but it soon became apparent this had been done to pave the way for a dramatic change in native in part two. Mackintosh is simply brilliant at getting inside a character’s head, something which may stem from the fact she herself was once a policewoman. The plot of the book is another brilliant aspect, mostly due to the sheer number of unexpected twists. I must confess the half of the twists had me totally confused. The biggest twist of all is shocking at first, but flicking back through the book one notices subtle hints woven into Mackintosh’s narrative. Part of the reason the book kept me so hooked was the fact this wasn’t even the final twist; little did I know that another two or three were set to follow! One final twist is thrown in at the end of the book, bringing it to a shocking conclusion.
I would probably consider this book to be the best (and scariest) thriller I’ve ever read. Everything about it was simply stunning. From a factual point of view, it even provided an interesting insight into how an English police investigation and trial work. I was addicted from page one, and couldn’t have wished for a better conclusion. This is a book with the kind of twists readers adore, and of which other authors are extremely envious. I just hope someone decides to adapt it into an equally thrilling moving sometime soon!
Rating: ***** (5/5)