Book Group - I Let You Go discussion thread

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Jan 2016
7:45pm, 16 Jan 2016
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The Scribbler
I agree with the comments about the subsequent twists being too contrived and Ian being solely responsible for all the terrible things that happened.
But I liked the first big twist and the two voice narrative.

I don't read any crime fiction nowadays other than Rebus, so can't really comment on how formulaic it is. It does make me wonder how much she may have been influenced to make her book more commercial.

Anyway, not the kind of thing I'd normally read, or recommend. And I still wouldn't necessarily recommend it, but I thought it was easily accessible.

I could have gone for Our Mutual Friend... One of Dickens' longer novels and another with a twist revealed half way through.
Jan 2016
7:54pm, 16 Jan 2016
20,916 posts
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McGoohan
Dickens loved a cheeky coincidence type twist, didn't he? (e.g. Nicholas Nickleby)
Jan 2016
8:21pm, 24 Jan 2016
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BaronessBL
I've not dipped into the Fetch book club for quite a while but given the second comment on this thread (from LD) I think I might be minded to read this one :-)
Jan 2016
10:33am, 29 Jan 2016
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Little Nemo - this kitten can
I've read other police procedurals/thrillers before and it's a genre that I like. This book isn't a bad example but there a few things that didn't work for me

I found some of the police characters' conversations clumsy. I get that she was probably using these to explain what happens when cases go on too long and have to be dropped but it meant that they didn't sound like real people talking for these parts. Also I already know that cases get reduced priority after a while so I didn't need this spelled out quite so strongly.

I found it hard to believe that a court would just take her word for it that Ian was driving the car and that the case was dismissed. Where was the proof? Why would they believe her change of story? Would the police really bother carrying on the investigation after she had pleaded guilty?

I found Ian to be too much of a convenient villain. Turning up at useful plot points to do things but not actually killing her, which sadly would probably be more realistic.

Too many twists at the end. I *knew* her father was going to turn out to violent because that would explain why she was attracted to Ian and didn't leave him but it's such a cliche. And as for Ian being the father and deciding to run over Jacob on purpose - that was unnecessary and really ruined the end for me.

I think there could have been a more interesting story on grief and guilt if she *had* been driving the car but had been distracted because of Ian abusing her. Also the mother was hardly in the story at all which seemed to make Jacob's death a trivial thing, just a plot device almost.

It's pretty well written, the twist was good and I didn't see it coming. It explained why her behaviour seemed a bit odd for someone who was grieving. I liked having the different viewpoints throughout the book and it was a good view on how the police actually work. I might pick up another book of hers if I see it the library.

I gave this book a 6 (toyed with 5 because of the crass ending but decided the descriptions of the Welsh bits outweighed this!)
Feb 2016
1:42pm, 5 Feb 2016
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mulbs
I'd agree pretty much with everything LittleN said above, I'd add that thr Ray and Kate thing really annoyed me, but then lots of things annoyed me about Ray - parking on zigzags to drop child at school was just for starters!
Feb 2016
1:43pm, 5 Feb 2016
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mulbs
Having said that - it was a bit of a page turner and I did race through it
Feb 2016
2:08pm, 5 Feb 2016
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Badger
LN makes a lot of good points. In particular, I couldn't quite get over the way the court case collapsed (funny how that happened off-stage); and I could well believe Ian had a child from all the one-night stands he was having, and having that level of resentment, but what were the chances he'd run across the street at just the right time to be murdered? Even that bit I could have bought if there'd been a bit of support for Ian deliberately heading to that area at that time (perhaps to humiliate Jenna by pointing Jacob out to her, and establish that he was aware of the school schedule and occasionally spied on Jacob).

That said, overall definitely a page turner, and there were lots of details I did like: the police scenes were as convincing as you'd hope for from an ex-cop; Ian was a little bit nuanced (seemed to believe he was in love with her and just trying to make her a better person, as opposed to just being a bully); and the first twist was very elegantly done.

I'll probably read more of her work.
Feb 2016
4:15pm, 5 Feb 2016
781 posts
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westmoors
I gave this 8/10. Tend to agree with most of the above.

When I got to the twist at the end of the first part I thought I'd missed something. That was really well done. Felt a bit let down though when it was revealed that Ian was driving.
Feb 2016
5:07pm, 5 Feb 2016
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Badger
Yup, I flicked back to the start to figure out just how I'd been conned.

Mother never named and said to have disappeared; POV switches to a female character, devastated by the incident, busy disappearing from Bristol.

It would have been interesting if Jenna had been driving, but it breaks the plot completely; it's hard to see how Ian could have prevented her stopping the car and running back to Jacob, and if she doesn't do that, she is as bad as Ian.

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This thread is for discussionising I Let You Go by Claire Mackintosh. Read on if you have read it. O...

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