I Let You Go

by Claire Mackintosh

A tragic hit-and-run accident that killed a five-year-old boy, a year-long police investigation with few clues and a woman desperately escaping an abusive husband intersect in this heart-gripping book.

Jacob Jordan’s mother briefly lets go of his hand as they turn into their quiet street one rainy night after school. The little boy races across the street toward their house. Out of nowhere, a car comes speeding down the street, hitting the little boy, killing him almost instantly. The car backs up, makes four attempts to turn in the narrow street, scraping against a huge sycamore tree, before it vanishes into the dark.

Detective Inspector Ray Stevens of Bristol CID and his team begin the long, meticulous process of searching for clues to identify the car. Slowly, one avenue of inquiry after another deadends.

A fizzling investigation may not seem like a good foundation for a suspenseful mystery, but author Claire Mackintosh takes this story on as many twists and turns as a Grand Prix race course. Just when you think the story is over, a new element comes to light. Just as the police believe they have at last found the culprit, they learn all is not quite as it seems.

The first third of the book is a little sluggish, To compensate for the lack of action in the investigation, Mackintosh tells about Stevens’ struggles with the demands of his job and the needs of his family — children who hardly see him, a wife who would like to go back to work and a teenage son who has turned surly and rebellious. He’s also attracted to Kate, a young, enthusiastic detective who has yet to learn the realities of departmental politics.

Fortunately, the last third is impossible to put down. Mackintosh’s habit of telling different parts of the story in first person is misleading, but serves the story well. As the truth is exposed bit by bit, realizations roll over the reader like waves on the shore, until at last all is revealed.

The Author: Claire Mackintosh

This book was inspired by an incident that occurred during Claire Mackintosh’s 12 years on a police force. She joined the police force after graduating from Royal Holloway University in Surrey with a degree in French and management.

After getting a promotion to Chipping Norton as town sergeant, she became the Thames Valley Police operations inspector for Oxfordshire.

She became a full-time writer in 2011.

She is a founder and trustee of the Chipping Norton Literary Festival. She is a patron of the Silver Star Society, a charity supporting the John Radcliffe Hospitals work with families facing difficult pregnancies.  She herself had twin boys, who were born prematurely in 2006. One son got meningitis and died when he was a few weeks old. About 15 months later, she gave birth to a second set of twins.

I Let You Go, published in 2014, was followed by two other novels, I See You (2016) and Let Me Lie (2018).


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