Clare Mackintosh | I Let You Go

The Book:

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
Published: November 2014 by Sphere

Torrie’s Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Plot (Goodreads):

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 . . .

How did I Let You Go end?

Click here for book spoilers for I Let You Go
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read I Let You Go, I suggest you turn back now.

The first major twist is that the reader is led to believe that Jenna is the mother of the child that was killed in the hit-and-run. In the opening scenes with the mother, she is only referred to as “the mother” or “the witness”, so the reader doesn’t know her name. Then, when Jenna is introduced and running away, her thoughts and anguish appear to be that of a grieving mother. At the start of part 2, we learn that Jenna is the suspect.

When Jenna goes to jail, we learn that her husband (Ian) is abusive. First Jenna takes responsibility for the accident, but the police can tell something is off. They figure out that Jenna is terrified of Ian and that she is likely protecting him.

Ultimately, we learn the truth: Jenna was driving herself and Ian home from one of her art showings. Ian was extremely drunk and belligerent in the car ride and demanded to take over driving. He forced Jenna to pull over. While he was driving, he recognized the area they were in, and realized that the mother and little boy nearing the street were actually a woman he had a brief affair with and his son (the result of the fair). He quickly decided to kill the boy because the mother had recently been asking him to be present as a father, something he didn’t want to do.

After the accident, Jenna wanted to get out of the car, but Ian would not let her and he drove off. He physically assaulted her severely when they got home and he left for a few days, during that time she ran away. When the police arrest her, but she makes bail (and later is let off when the Police learn about Ian), Jenna returns to her small cottage, but Ian finds her. He brutally attacks her, but she manages to get away, and he falls off a cliff and into the ocean in the process.

The biggest challenge for the police in all this is that Jenna changed her name to Jennifer when she got married, so the police never connected until her sister came forward to make a report.

We also learn that Jenna had been pregnant, but Ian beat her so severely, she lost the baby before he was born. This was what caused the rift between her and her sister – her sister told Jenna she was a bad mother for not protecting her baby. At the end, Jenna learns that the father her had loved and missed so much was forced to leave by her mother when he hit her sister. He was abusive to her mother most of her childhood, but her mother kicked him out finally when he turned on Eve.

Torrie’s Review:

I recently read and reviewed The Last Party by Clare Mackintosh, and I adored it, so I had to read another of her books! While this book didn’t quite live up to The Last Party, it was very enjoyable. The pacing was great, and the first twist caught me off guard. I will say, I noticed something was off in the first chapter and that it didn’t quite feel right, but I couldn’t put my finger on why. When the twist going into part 2 occurred, it all clicked – I thought this was a fantastic twist and was done well. The rest of the story was pretty predictable. I guessed Jenna’s history pretty quickly as well as how the accident may have occurred. There were certainly heavy-handed hints for both of those outcomes.

Ultimately, I would definitely recommend I Let You Go to others who are looking for a mystery with a strong pace and great writing. One solid twist is a success in my book, even though I wish the rest of the book was a tad less predictable.

Meet Guest Reviewer by Torrie Lewine

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