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Editor reviews

Sunday Times best-selling I Let You Go is the debut novel written by Clare Mackintosh and is masterful in its creation, enormously talented in its writing and is an expertly narrated audiobook by voice actors David Thorpe and Julie Barrie. The very deepest of emotions surrounding the shock of a tragic accident are examined in this flawlessly constructed story. Listeners are absorbed entirely into the plot and are stunned with a twist at the end that could never have been predicted. Clare Mackintosh has taken the contemporary fiction genre by storm with this new release. Available now from Audible.

Summary

A tragic accident. It all happened so quickly. She couldn't have prevented it. Could she?

In a split second, Jenna Gray's world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief, and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.

Slowly Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating....

©2014 Clare Mackintosh (P)2015 Isis Audiobooks

Critic reviews

"A hugely assured and gripping debut and a twist that made me green with envy." (Mark Billingham)
"Absolutely brilliant - I ripped through it." (Jenny Colgan)
"A superb debut, Clare Mackintosh writes eloquently about grief, guilt and fear and delivers some shocking twists." (Cath Staincliffe)
"A terrific, compelling read with an astonishing twist that floored me. I loved it and did not want it to end." (Peter James)

What listeners say about I Let You Go

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous debut!

Where does I Let You Go rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, I found it difficult to put it down.

Any additional comments?

I am very much looking forward to more from this author. This book was highly compelling. Intelligently written, with great characters and rich context that gave me a real sense of being there with Jenna. Despite being brutal in its content, it was penned with a light touch. Highly recommended.

46 people found this helpful

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Absolutely brilliant!

WOW! One of the best psychological thrillers I have listened to in ages. I can't actually believe this is a debut novel. The twists and surprises were jaw dropping. My emotions were all over the place with this one. I am not even going to go into any description of what the story is about for fear of spoiling it. Very cleverly written, the characters were all really excellent.
David Thorpe and Julie Barrie were both fantastic. Julie Barrie had me close to tears several times, while David Thorpe's sinister, evil voice felt truly threatening.
Loved it! I would give it more than 5 stars if I could.

28 people found this helpful

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Kept me gripped the whole way through!

Just my cup of tea! Such a gripping story with unpredictable twists and turns!! Right to the very end!
Come on Clare Mackintosh we need your next book asap!!

10 people found this helpful

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Slow start but good twists

I was struggling with the first part of this book, it seemed quite slow and a bit pointless, then I found out why and I settled in and enjoyed it. So my advice is stick with the scene setting and hold on for the surprises!

30 people found this helpful

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An impressive first novel

I believe that this is the author's debut novel which makes this well-crafted narrative all the more impressive. It opens with the death of Jacob, a 5 year old, knocked down by a hit and run driver. The accident witnessed by his horrified mother. The main female character, Jenna, then disappears to a remote coastal village in Wales traumatised by the accident. Thereafter the story alternates between Jenna’s agonised recollections of the sight and sounds of the boy being hit by the car and the efforts of detective inspector, Ray, and his DC, Kate, as they try to trace the driver of the car. The two sets of characters are slowly fleshed out over 20 or so chapters with no progress over identifying the culprit. We learn of marital friction between Ray and his wife, the frustrations of police work; and Jenna’s tentative steps to make a new life for herself in Wales, but still haunted by the accident.

It would be a spoiler to give any more details, but around chapter 24, a year after the accident, the story is transformed as Jenna’s backstory starts to be revealed, including the existence of an estranged husband. From then on I was glued to my headphones eager to hear the next twist and turn of the story that rapidly gains momentum.

Don’t be put off by the seemingly slow start to the book. These early chapter get one involved with the characters and when the story took off it meant that I was really involved with their lives and cared what happened to them.

Having two narrators, a male and female, works well as both are able to modulate their voices to make the various characters sound life different people.

9 people found this helpful

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A gripping debut

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I have recommended this book to everyone I know. It is an amazing debut that I listened to at every available moment. My previous book of this year was 'Girl on the Train' but this was even better. I loved the Bristol/Wales settings and really felt that I was there in the middle of the story. The characterisation was excellent and believable and the twists were completely unexpected.

What was one of the most memorable moments of I Let You Go?

One of the twists which I really did not see coming.

What about David Thorpe and Julie Barrie ’s performance did you like?

Both readers were excellent. I love listening to audiobooks with multiple narrators.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There were many shocking moments but they were done with empathy and not to shock gratuitously. I felt completely caught up in Jenna's story.

27 people found this helpful

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One dimensional cops and baddie.

Not convinced by the male narrator or the characters of the detectives. Julia Barrie was brilliant.

3 people found this helpful

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Stilted reader but enjoyable story

Unfortunately I found the male narrator rather stilted in his reading style, which spoiled this side of the story for me. His flat and final "he said"s reminded me of a child reading from a script at a school performance. Overall, despite the dark subject matter, this book felt more like "chick lit" with its predictable ending, but was nonetheless an enjoyable listen.

17 people found this helpful

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One word- boring!

I got to around hour five and still not much had happened! That's when I gave up. It endlessly describes the scenario and people's feelings and as a result the story just doesn't move along. The female narrator was irritatingly"wet". This one went back I'm afraid.

2 people found this helpful

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Awful

Way too long! Julie Barrie narration was so irritating. Won't read another Clare Mackintosh book ever again. Painful.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Beverley-An
  • 25-03-17

Thrilling

loved it. Couldn't wait to reach the end, I wanted so much for love and justice to win out!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nishila Moodley
  • 19-09-20

Brilliant!

I could not put this down. beautifully written with many, many twists. Highly recommended.

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  • Paula Myers
  • 15-04-20

Irksome

Narrative is good , little slow to start but then grips the reader with surprising twists and turns
UK setting and accents are rich and appealing bringing the secondary characters to life.
Protagonist Ian is a wonderfully evil wicked psychopath. His counterpart , battered wife, Jennifer however, is so feeble and compliant, so weak and stupid that listening to her at times was very irksome - to say the least

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  • Sarah Vaulbert
  • 09-12-18

Very good read

Excellent story line. I really enjoyed the book. Easy to listen to, i was hocked from the beginning

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  • Nicki
  • 25-10-15

Felt I'd read it before

If you could sum up I Let You Go in three words, what would they be?

Exciting but predictable,

What does David Thorpe and Julie Barrie bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I thought they both did a tremendous job of reading, but their inconsistent Welsh accents and pronunciation were a bit hit and miss, sorry.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The reunion with her sister

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  • GoYeongGuk
  • 14-09-16

What a bastard!

The story kept making me uncomfortable while I was lstening. Not because of the story.