Book Review: I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh


Genre: Crime Fiction

This intriguing story is told not just from the point of view of the police investigating the crime at its heart, but also from the point of view of those involved in that incident. So we get the police procedural side and the complex human side as well. And it all adds up to an intriguing read.

The story opens with a life-changing accident that leads to Jenna, the main (civilian) character, leaving her life in Bristol and going to live in a remote coastal area of Wales. The author uses the wildness of the new landscape to good effect in reflecting Jenna’s state of mind. The clifftops, the beaches and the countryside are made easy for the reader to visualise.

The characters are well drawn too. Jenna herself, with her combination of strength and frailty is a very sympathetic lead. The police characters of DI Ray Stevens and DC Kate Evans are also presented as complex, real and all too human. I liked the background story of Ray’s home life and its stresses although I wasn’t entirely convinced by his act of infidelity. The supporting cast of characters who befriend Jenna in her new life in Wales were likeable and convincing and that includes Beau the dog. The villain is also excellently portrayed––shocking, chilling and very scary.

The plot moves between Jenna’s story and the progress––or not––of the police investigation. There’s Jenna’s grief, guilt and fear that haunts her from the past and the hope of new life and love in the future. And there are the pressures of modern policing, the need to get quick results and move on for the sake of politics and the stress this causes for the detectives on this difficult to solve case. There’s the obligatory red herring and twist, but spoilers prevent me saying any more on that score.

All the intricacies of character, plot and setting are well handled by the author and it all adds up to a first-class read.

Type of Read: Don’t read in bed at night if you a) want to sleep afterwards, b) want to put the light out at a reasonable time. Do read when you’ve plenty time. You’ll probably want to binge read it as it’s a true page turner – so plenty tea and biscuits, or wine and chocolate to hand. Great holiday read.


Back Cover Blurb:

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 . . .


I Let You Go is published by Sphere,  an imprint of Little, Brown. It is available as an e-book, paperback and in audio format.

6 thoughts on “Book Review: I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

  1. Like reading them, Anne, but I could never write a police procedural. Do you think it’s research or an inside knowledge that gets people writing them? Liked your review.

    • Hi Mary, I definitely think inside knowledge must make it easier to write crime fiction. Bur lots of excellent crime writers don’t have that background. They must be very committed to doing the research. Thanks for your comments. Glad you liked the review.

  2. i so enjoy your reviews and have your books on my wish list. Frustrating though to be in the middle of my own drawn-out publishing process—it leaves me no time to read books!

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