4 stars out of 5
For openers, there's no question that it's an extremely engaging, well-written book that held my attention throughout. That is, perhaps, except for the first half or so, which dragged on more than I would have liked. There's only so much of the "runaway woman haunted by her past who finds a potential new boyfriend but can't make herself trust him" I can take before saying, a la Shakespeare's Macduff, "hold enough." But then comes the first twist - and it's a biggie I wasn't expecting - and things really start to get interesting and stay that way till the end.
The runaway is Jenna Gray, who is so haunted by her memory of a horrific auto accident that takes the life of 5-year-old Jacob that she sets out for anywhere but where she is - ending up in a dank, run-down cottage on the coast of Wales. There, she begins her new life, finding some success by selling photographs and postcards of her writings in the beach sand. It is there that she meets the potential boyfriend - a local veterinarian - and the "should I or shouldn't I" drama kicks in.
Meanwhile, back in Bristol, police officers including Detective Inspector Ray Stevens and his protege Kate (who, BTW, doesn't get a last name - Evans - until near the halfway point, making me wonder until then if that was some kind of clue), begin to investigate the hit-and-run. Along the way, readers get an in-depth look at the detectives' personal trials and tribulations, all leading up to that first game-changing twist.
From that point on, it's almost impossible to put this book down. There are two more what I'd call major plot twists, although I must say I suspected what both would be ahead of time). There's a third whammy as well - although if I'm honest, I have to say even though it came as a surprise, it's a bit of overkill (so to speak) and a titch too contrived. Overall, though, I absolutely recommend this book, which I expect will be a winner when it's released on May 3, 2016. I thank the publisher, via NetGalley, for the opportunity to read and review an advance copy.
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh (Kindle Edition, Berkley, May 2016); 384 pp.