When it comes to a mystery story, there is nothing I love more than a psychological thriller where I do not see the ending coming. As you likely know if you have been reading my reviews for a little while, I always try to guess who committed the crime in a mystery novel, or the ending in another kind of mysterious novel if there was no crime. It is not something I can control that easily.
The thing that pleased me the most about I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh was that I did not guess the ending. Sure, I thought I had things figured out and for a time I was disappointed, but then enough was thrown in and I was off guessing again.
Many, including myself, would describe this book as a heartbreaking psychological thriller. It opens on a rainy afternoon and the shattering of a young mother’s life. The rest of the book is roughly split into two streams. The first focuses on Jenna Gray, a young sculptor who moves away from town in an effort to erase the memories of the haunting car accident and the rest of her painful past. The other stream focuses on the Bristol police officers investigating the infuriating and heartbreaking hit and run accident.
Sometimes I find that this type of perspective split reduces my focus, but not in this case. I thought that splitting the perspectives in this book provided quite a bit more intrigue throughout the entire process. While I was wondering about the investigation, I was also wondering about the details of Jenna’s past.
Even though I knew that the child, Jacob, would not come back to life, I really wanted to know if things would turn out in the end. By that I mean would they actually catch the person who did it? Would Jacob’s mother be able to have some semblance of closure?
I also enjoyed the writing style in this book. I think it really helped with keeping the mystery going until the end, particularly with a big switch in the book. Frankly, I do not think this book and its mystery would be half as good if Clare Mackintosh had written it in another way. It would not be terrible, but I definitely think it would be much harder to pull of (the mystery, I mean) with another writing style.
I do have a slight issue with part of the ending. Sure, I can see the appeal it would have to some people, but I found that the reveal of the extra connection was just over the top. I do not think it was necessary for the ending. Things would have been just as impactful without it there. If you choose to read this book (and I recommend that you do), I would love to know your thoughts about the extra connection. I expect you will know it when you read it! I, unfortunately, cannot reveal all here because then the mystery would be compromised and who wants that?
In any case, if you like mystery and crime novels I highly recommend I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh. Let me know in the comments if you are planning on reading it. When you finish, I would love to hear your thoughts!
Title: I Let You Go
Author: Clare Mackintosh
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada