Just to let you know, the title is written in sand and after reading the book, I like the cover better than I did initially.
I Let You Go was a surprise. Expecting a pretty normal police procedural/mystery, I got more than expected.
It is somewhat rare to find a book that truly surprises me. Plenty that take an unexpected turn or two, some twists that I didn't expect, but when I look back, I realize they were telegraphed in some way.
The book begins with the shocking hit-and-run death of a five-year-old boy. That gets your attention. The mother is heart-broken, blaming herself. She let go of her son's hand for a moment to wipe the rain and her hair from her eyes, and Jacob ran right in front of a car. The entire community, including the police, are outraged that the driver failed to stop and give aid. Instead, the driver fled the scene and there were no witnesses. The mother can't even describe the car with any certainty. In the dreadful mob mentality that often occurs, some blame the mother for letting go of Jacob's hand.
The police do their best, but the investigation is tough with so little to go on. Frustrated, DI Ray Stevens and Kate, a new recruit, continue the investigation on their own time when, after 6 months, their superior officer demands they close the case.
Jenna Grey, devastated by the accident, simply picks up and leaves Bristol, taking next to nothing with her. She travels to a remote Welsh village where she rents a small, dilapidated cottage and struggles to overcome her anguish and her nightmares of the accident.
Jenna is sometimes frustrating in her grief and her need for isolation, but she does eventually make friends and after a year, begins to contemplate actually living again. I want to mention that because the book was compared to Gone Girl which has no likable characters, no genuine friendships. MacIntosh does have likable characters, flawed, but in most cases likable. This is not a book that puts distance between the reader and the characters, not a cold analysis of personalities or facts. There are layers and layers in both MacIntosh's characters and plotlines.
One of the best crime/mystery novels I've read in a long time. Highly Recommended.
NetGalley/Berkley Publishing Group
Police Procedural/Psychological/Mystery. 2014; May, 2016. Print length: 385 pages.