I received a review copy of this title from Netgalley.com.
How would you ever forgive yourself, if you thought you responsible for the death of a five year old boy? Would you seek some sort of penance? Would you confront the truth? Would you run and hide, afraid to face reality? Jenna chooses the latter option.
Jacob was just crossing the road, on his way home from school, when he was hit by a car. A collision that left no chance of life, the driver reversed back down the street and was never seen or heard from again. Jacob's mother watched all this in horror as she cradled her dead boy in her arms. She believes that she is to blame, as she let go of his hand as they crossed the familiar road.
Jenna has fled to Wales, leaving no trace. She hides out in a tiny run-down cottage and deals with her demons in solitude. The locals are intrigued but she can't let them get too close. She keeps up her guard. Finding an abandoned puppy at the roadside, changes things. She relaxes a bit and begins to feel again. One tiny misjudgment brings trouble to her door, though, and she realises the past has caught up with her...
Meanwhile, back in Bristol, a young trainee detective and her supervising DI, are still trying to find out what happened on the day of the hit-and-run. DI Ray Stevens is a career police officer with family problems. Kate has the eagerness of youth on her side, and together they refuse to give up on the boy.
This is a psychological thriller of two stories. The inner turmoil of Jenna and how she got to be hiding away in Wales, afraid of her own shadow, alongside the day to day investigative work of the police officers trying to get justice for a young boy. The chapters are alternating and the character development is pitched perfectly. Ray is a genuinely good guy, just wanting to do his best by everyone, making mistakes on the way. Jenna is a broken woman, devastated by Jacob's death but knowing by coming forward, she could make things worse.
This debut novel is superb. The author has worked in the police force and her knowledge adds authenticity to the story. The writing is perfect for the genre and while the first few chapters seem ti be bringing you into another average crime thriller, the twist that materialises, soon after, takes the book to another level. I stayed up til 2am to finish this, furiously flicking through the pages to get to the end. I hope there are more DI Stevens books in the making and Clare Mackintosh doesn't keep us waiting too long for book 2!
Ideal for fans of SJ Watson and Elizabeth Haynes.
I Let You Go is published by Little Brown Books UK and is available in paperback and ebook format