I Let You Go

I Let You Go - Clare Mackintosh A tragic accident sets off the action in this suspenseful novel by Clare Mackintosh-unsettling the reader before introducing the characters, and creating an immediate sense of doom. The following chapters are presented in shifting points-of-view: Jenna, the main character, narrates in first person; Ray, the DI tasked with investigating the devastating hit and run in omniscient third person; and later on, another mystery character is developed using a unique second person viewpoint. This last character is pivotal to the plot, and comes in just as the mystery starts to unfold.
When the reader first meets Jenna, she is reeling from the accident-fleeing blindly from its emotional aftermath. She allows fate to deposit her in a remote village in Wales where she can escape from the unending press coverage in her hometown. Jenna soon realizes that she needs to interact with others while trying to avoid any real relationships or dependence on any of the new people she encounters. Her seclusion is temporary, however. She meets a local vet and a kind neighbor who slowly help her build a new life, renew her artistic volition, and rekindle romantic desire. Bit by bit her ties to the small town start to deepen despite her desire to remain in exile.
DI Ray and his partner Kate, meanwhile, are doggedly trying to unravel the mystery of the driver of the car involved in the accident. They continue investigating in secret after the case is closed as they fight a growing attraction that threatens to jeopardize Ray’s marriage.
The character s intersect just as the third voice appears, who sheds some surprising light on Jenna’s past and her real connection to the crime. The climax brings all of these characters together, and a true account of events comes into focus.
Good plot development and an interesting juxtaposition of narrators rescue this slow-burner of a novel from becoming another run-of-the mill thriller. Mackintosh is skillful and inventive in her plot twists and use of literary techniques, keeping the reader engaged throughout. There were times when the violence was borderline offensive, and the romantic scenes too overwrought. In fact, the romantic subplot between Ray and Kate could have even been removed entirely, but at times these chapters were a welcome break from the bleaker scenes in the story line. I would recommend this book for mystery lovers who have patience for a long build up of action and a high tolerance for unnecessary romantic tangents.