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I Let You Go
Cover of I Let You Go
I Let You Go
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
One of The New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Crime Novels of 2016!
The next blockbuster thriller for those who loved The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl... "a finely crafted novel with a killer twist." (#1 New York Times bestselling author Paula Hawkins)


On a rainy afternoon, a mother's life is shattered as her son slips from her grip and runs into the street . . .

I Let You Go follows Jenna Gray as she moves to a ramshackle cottage on the remote Welsh coast, trying to escape the memory of the car accident that plays again and again in her mind and desperate to heal from the loss of her child and the rest of her painful past.

At the same time, the novel tracks the pair of Bristol police investigators trying to get to the bottom of this hit-and-run. As they chase down one hopeless lead after another, they find themselves as drawn to each other as they are to the frustrating, twist-filled case before them. Elizabeth Haynes, author of Into the Darkest Corner, says, "I read I Let You Go in two sittings; it made me cry (at least twice), made me gasp out loud (once), and above all made me wish I'd written it . . . a stellar achievement."

*Peter James, author of Want You Dead
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
One of The New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Crime Novels of 2016!
The next blockbuster thriller for those who loved The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl... "a finely crafted novel with a killer twist." (#1 New York Times bestselling author Paula Hawkins)


On a rainy afternoon, a mother's life is shattered as her son slips from her grip and runs into the street . . .

I Let You Go follows Jenna Gray as she moves to a ramshackle cottage on the remote Welsh coast, trying to escape the memory of the car accident that plays again and again in her mind and desperate to heal from the loss of her child and the rest of her painful past.

At the same time, the novel tracks the pair of Bristol police investigators trying to get to the bottom of this hit-and-run. As they chase down one hopeless lead after another, they find themselves as drawn to each other as they are to the frustrating, twist-filled case before them. Elizabeth Haynes, author of Into the Darkest Corner, says, "I read I Let You Go in two sittings; it made me cry (at least twice), made me gasp out loud (once), and above all made me wish I'd written it . . . a stellar achievement."

*Peter James, author of Want You Dead
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Excerpts-
  • From the book ***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected proof***

    Copyright © 2016 Clare Mackintosh

    PROLOGUE

    The wind flicks wet hair across her face, and she screws up her eyes against the rain. Weather like this makes everyone hurry; scurrying past on slippery pavements with chins buried into collars. Passing cars send spray over their shoes; the noise from the traffic making it impossible for her to hear more than a few words of the chattering update that began the moment the school gates opened. The words burst from him without a break, mixed up and back to front in the excitement of this new world into which he is growing. She makes out something about a best friend; a project on space; a new teacher, and she looks down and smiles at his excitement, ignoring the cold that weaves its way through her scarf. The boy grins back and tips up his head to taste the rain; wet eyelashes forming dark clumps around his eyes.

    "And I can write my name, Mummy!"

    "You clever boy," she says, stopping to kiss him fiercely on his damp forehead. "Will you show me when you get home?"

    They walk as quickly as five-year-old legs will allow, her free hand holding his bag, which bangs against her knees.

    Nearly home.

    Headlights glint on wet tarmac, the dazzle blinding them every few seconds. Waiting for a break in the traffic they duck across the busy road, and she tightens her grip on the small hand inside the soft woolen glove, so he has to run to keep up. Sodden leaves cling to the railings, their bright colors darkening to a dull brown.

    They reach the quiet street where home lies just around the corner, its seductive warmth a welcome thought. Secure in the environs of her own neighborhood she lets go of his hand to push away the strands of wet hair from her eyes, laughing at the cascade of droplets it causes.

    "There," she says, as they make the final turn. "I left the light on for us." Across the street, a redbrick house. Two bedrooms, the tiniest kitchen,

    and a garden crammed with pots she always means to fill with flowers. Just the two of them.

    "I'll race you, Mummy . . ."

    He never stops moving; full of energy from the second he wakes until the moment his head hits the pillow. Always jumping, always running.

    "Come on!"

    It happens in a heartbeat; the feeling of space by her side as he runs toward home, seeking out the warmth of the hall, with its porch-light glow. Milk; biscuit; twenty minutes of television; fish-fingers for tea. The routine they have fallen into so quickly, barely halfway through that first term at school.

    The car comes from nowhere. The squeal of wet brakes, the thud of a five- year-old boy hitting the windshield and the spin of his body before it slams onto the road. Running after him, in front of the still-moving car. Slipping and falling heavily onto outstretched hands, the impact taking her breath away.

    It's over in a heartbeat.

    She crouches beside him, searching frantically for a pulse. Watches her breath form a solitary white cloud in the air. Sees the dark shadow form beneath his head and hears her own wail as though it comes from someone else. She looks up at the blurred windshield, its wipers sending arcs of water into the darkening night, and she screams at the unseen driver to help her.

    Leaning forward to warm the boy with her body, she holds her coat open over them both, its hem drinking surface water from the road. And as she kisses him and begs him to wake, the pool of yellow light that envelops them shrinks to a narrow beam; the car...

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 14, 2016
    At the start of British author Mackintosh’s accomplished debut, five-year-old Jacob Jordan lets go of his mother’s hand for an instant on a rainy evening in Bristol, England, and darts into the road, only to be struck and killed by a hit-and-run. The investigation lands on the desk of Det. Insp. Ray Stevens and his eager new detective constable, Kate Evans. Mackintosh alternates between the slow, but fruitless, police work and the movements of artist Jenna Gray, who’s haunted by Jacob’s death and relocates to an isolated Welsh village, where she keeps to herself, warming slightly to the local vet after finding an abandoned puppy, and even then keeping the details of her previous life a secret. Back in Bristol, Ray and Kate work the case to the ground, despite a lack of leads; predictable sparks fly, even though Ray is happily married with two children. Mackintosh easily shifts points of view and keeps readers on their toes, slowly upping the suspense, so that when she does reveal her twists they—mostly—work.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from March 1, 2016
    When a 5-year-old boy is killed in a hit-and-run accident, the police find themselves with a sensational case and one woman discovers an emptiness that she may never fill in Mackintosh's engrossing debut. When Jacob dies on a Bristol, England, road after letting go of his mother's hand as they walk home from school on a wet and nasty day, the driver of the car that hit him keeps on going. His death spurs DI Ray Stevens and his colleagues Kate, a new addition to the Criminal Investigations Division, and Stumpy, a longtime detective, to pull out all the stops looking for the killer. Meanwhile, Jenna, haunted by the boy's death, pulls up stakes and moves to the tiny coastal town of Penfach, Wales. She's planning not to start over as much as simply get by, finding refuge in a small cliffside cottage and spending her time trying to erase memories of the terrible incident; she starts to return to some semblance of a real life, with a dog and a slowly developing relationship. Back in Bristol, the very married Ray finds himself drawn to Kate, while his wife, former fellow cop Mags, suspects there may be something going on. Using multiple points of view, Mackintosh, a former U.K. deputy inspector, delivers an accurate portrayal of a typical police investigation, including the tedious processes law enforcement officers often use to identify and track down witnesses. Mackintosh's excellent writing features both memorable characters and a compelling portrayal of the eccentricities of small-town life in a close-knit community. But the author's real skill is in the way she incorporates jaw-dropping, yet plausible, plot twists into the already complex storyline. Mackintosh has written the kind of book that sticks in the reader's mind well after the final sentence.

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    December 1, 2015
    In this debut, whose author worked on criminal investigations with the Thames Valley Police Department, Jenna Gray moves to the Welsh coast to recover from her child's hit-and-run death, even as two police investigators find the case increasingly complicated. A Richard and Judy summer book club pick and one of Buzzfeed's "Ten Great Psychological Thrillers That Are as Good as Gone Girl"; 300,000 copies sold in the UK.

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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I Let You Go
I Let You Go
Clare Mackintosh
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