Friday, 19 August 2016

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

Reviewer: Gillian Hamer, author of The Charter, Closure, Complicit, Crimson Shore & False Lights (

What we thought: As a big crime fiction fan I was excited to read this thriller after it appeared on the Sunday Times bestseller list and won the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2016. Also, I was intrigued to read that the author had spent numerous years working in a real-life CID role and how that would come through in the writing.

To be honest, all my boxes were totally ticked by this novel. The narrative is strong, with a good hook that soon captivates the reader. Characterisation was handled with a professionalism, so each person was real and engaging, and yet there was a cleverly handled sense of secrecy about the storyline too that kept you reading. I liked the first person POV and how the differing sides of the story were gradually revealed while maintaining an excellent pace throughout. This novel cannot have been an easy one to write, and it does not have the feel of a debut novel.

In short, this is a story of guilt, fear and redemption. When a five-year-old boy is killed by a hit and run driver, what appears to be a straightforward investigation soon ends in one dead end after another, until after an anniversary appeal, a year later, the police get a lead that takes them on a totally unexpected journey. Without giving too much away, the twist in the middle of the novel really worked for me, and unsettled me as a reader. Having engaged with characters, it’s always a real skill to turn the reader’s world upside down!

Highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys dark thrillers and gritty crime fiction. Some of the scenes of domestic violence may not be to everyone’s tastes, and a few times I found myself biting back tears. But I was very impressed with the novel and was sad to see it come to the end – and within 24 hours I had downloaded I See You the author’s follow-up novel.

You’ll enjoy this if you like: B A Paris, Jo Nesbo, Tara Lyons.

Avoid if you don’t like: Police procedurals and scenes of domestic violence.

Ideal accompaniments: Warm fresh baked bread with blackcurrant jam and a frothy coffee.

Genre: Crime.

Available from Amazon

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