…the car backs up the street [its] engine whining in admonishment.
Debut Authors tickle my fancy. I just love discovering new budding authors and Clare Mackintosh did not disappoint me in crafting her first work of fiction.
Drawing on years of experience as a British crime inspector and the emotional loss of her own child, Mackintosh has fashioned a psychological thriller that will appeal to any lover of crime fiction. First published in England in 2014, I Let You Go will make its hardcover debut in the US in May 2016.
Five year old Jacob, nearly effervescent describing his learning to write his name, races home from school tethered firmly in his mother’s grip. As they near the house, his mother points across the street at the porch light she has left on for them.
She releases his hand for a split-second to swipe a rain soaked hair lock out of her eye and Jacob lurches forward challenging her…“I’ll race you, Mummy…”
Detective Inspector Ray Stevens and members of his crime investigation team take on the task of finding the hit-and-run driver. A nearly impossible task with heavy rain in the area, blinding headlights highlighting the horror on the pavement, and no other eyewitnesses.
Jenna Gray, suffocating with grief, decides to packs a holdall (gym bag for us ‘Mericans) and leave. “Can I do this? Is it possible to simply walk away from one life and start another? I have to try; it is my only chance of getting through this in one piece.”
Jenna aimlessly travels further and further from Bristol until she sequesters herself in an isolated small cottage in the teensy seaside town of Penfach (Wales).
As the investigation proceeds we meet the Inspector’s family and his team in greater detail. We learn the hardships and pressures that affect everyone during a long and arduous criminal investigation. The interoffice relationship between the DI and his trainee felt contrived and unnecessary. The dialogue would have been better spent, in my humble opinion, exploring his relationship in deeper depth with his wife and children.
I am leaving out some pretty heady plotlines and additional characters as I consider them spoilers. The author tackles some powerful topics that I would love to have seen her explore in greater depth. You’ll know it when you find them! I wouldn’t want to ruin your read!
Mackintosh has done a great job for her first mystery entrée. It isn’t a masterpiece but very entertaining. Great airplane or beach read.
She is writing her second book and I for one am standing in line with my hand raised for a chance to review it!