As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Sphere, 7 May 2015: ISBN: 978-0-7515-5415-1
A young woman takes off into the night after the kind of tragic
hit-and-run accident that is every mother’s nightmare. She holes up in a remote
cottage, and over the next few months the scars begin to heal and she settles
into the community: makes friends, starts a business, meets the local vet, and
love begins to blossom.
Meanwhile, back at the scene
of the accident, an ambitious detective constable and her boss are
investigating. She is young and sparky; his marriage has gone stale. The
inevitable lurks on the sidelines. They find no useful evidence, and despite
their best efforts, the investigation stalls – until an anniversary appeal
throws up a surprise witness. The narrative is turned on its head, a third
voice enters the picture– and that’s when the pace hots up and things really
begin to take off.
On the face of it, Clare
Mackintosh’s assured debut is more two-layered romance than psychological
thriller, at least for the first half of the novel. The chief way the author
holds our interest is by creating two intriguing characters, each with a
distinct voice: Jenna, the fleeing woman, and Ray, the young DC’s boss. She
builds their lives around them: Ray’s troubled family life and his itchy
relationship with DC Kate, Jenna’s growing friendship with her taciturn
landlord Iestyn, motherly caravan park owner Bethan, and Patrick the vet.
But I Let You Go is a
thriller after all, and though the police side of things goes much as you might
expect, nothing in Jenna’s life is as it seems.
It isn’t always an easy read,
but it rapidly becomes a compelling one. It follows a pattern which has become
familiar since Gone Girl: unreliable narrator, the past impacting on the
present, dark secrets waiting to emerge; but it certainly isn’t a clone of last
summer’s must-read book. The characters are well-developed individuals; the
mean streets of Bristol and the idyllic Welsh coastal village are equally
well-drawn; the writing is skilful and well-balanced; and the plot has enough
twists enough to satisfy the pickiest reader, not to mention a final kick that
sent shivers up my spine.
It’s a sure-footed debut
which augurs well, and I look forward to seeing what Clare Mackintosh does
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
Clare Mackintosh is an author, feature writer and columnist. She has
written for The Guardian, Sainsbury's Magazine, The Green Parent, and many
other national publications, and is a columnist for Cotswold Life and Writing
Magazine.Clare spent twelve years in
the police force, working on CID, in custody and as a public order commander,
and has drawn on her experiences for her début psychological thriller I Let You
Go. She is currently writing her second novel, out next year.
Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen,
and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but
never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher
for a few years, and is proud to have launched several careers which are now
burgeoning. She lives on the edge of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with
books, about half of them crime fiction.