A mother walks home with her little boy. He holds her hand but then lets go. A lethal car accident, a guilt-ridden woman and an obsessive psychopath …
In for a psychological thriller that will keep you hooked until the very last page? Read Clare Mackintosh’s gripping crime debut and you just cannot stop the whirl of emotions spinning in your head. A mother and her five-year-old son walk home in the drizzling rain. The boy chatters away with his small hand lying comfortable in his mother’s. She enjoys the feel of the proximity of her little boy, looks forward to coming home with him. She lets go of his hand, just one crossing to make, the welcoming kitchen lights well within reach. The boy runs, crosses the street – a car approaches – a thud in the dark and a deafening silence broken by the anguished cries of the mother, bereaved of her only child.
Bristol CID Detective Inspector Ray Stevens is married to Mags, who used to work in the Police Force before their two children were born. Ray has no inkling that his 15-year marriage is not what it used to be. Newbie Detective Kate has all the prospects of becoming a great detective. Ray and Kate are called to the scene of the hit-and-run that cost 5-year old Jacob his life. The tragedy not only shattered the mother but makes a deep impact on the Police Officers on scene. As it was dark and raining, the only witness is the mother who is blaming herself for letting go and feels she needs to leave, unable to stay a second longer in their little home. Jenna packs a bag and takes a bus, wherever it will take her, going as far away as possible. Eventually, the bus stops in Swansea, Wales but still she is unable to stop and walks on until she reaches the beach and falls asleep on the sandy shore of the little village of Penfach.
As Jenna picks up the pieces of her life, she starts photographing the pebbles on the beach, writing messages in the sand she then captures in her pictures. Every night she is haunted by nightmares: the car, the rainy street, the ghastly thud that forever stopped little Jacob’s heart from beating. Jenna knows her past will eventually catch up with her, she can’t keep hiding forever. Will she be able to confront them or will she drown trying? We listen to Jenna’s thoughts from her own, first-person perspective and feel for her struggling with her guilt. There is also another first person’s voice, someone who appears more creepy by the minute, as we get into his head and see his menacing actions, his obsessive and disturbing behaviour. Who is he and what is his connection with Jenna? Slowly understanding what this man is saying, horrific images appear before us and we discover a shocking pattern of intimidation, violence and control.
The book is an exciting psychological thriller with mind-blowing plot twists that keep you captivated. The lives of Ray and his family are almost refreshingly normal, set against the chilling insights of the man’s mind and Jenna’s desperate attempts to escape. From reading the first pages of the book and picturing how the story would unfold, it is nothing like I imagined it would be. It gets more sinister with every further chapter. The feeling that you need to know what will happen next stays with you until and even after the very last page in the book.
About the Author
Clare Mackintosh is a Sunday Times bestselling psychological thriller author. Clare spent twelve years in the Police Force, including time on CID, and as a public order commander. She left the police in 2011 to work as a freelance journalist and social media consultant and now writes full time. Clare’s debut novel, I Let You Go, was the fastest selling title by a new crime writer in 2015. It was selected for both the Richard and Judy Book Club and ITV’s Loose Women’s ‘Loose Books’ and has been translated into more than 30 languages. In July 2016 Clare received the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award, and won the Cognac Prix du Polar for International Novel of the Year that autumn. Clare’s second book, I See You, was published in the UK in July 2016, with rights sold to more than 20 countries. It charted at number 1 in the Sunday Times hardback bestseller list. Clare is patron of the Silver Star Society, a charity based at the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford which supports parents experiencing high-risk or difficult pregnancies. She lives in North Wales with her husband and their three children.
|Publisher||Sphere (7 May 2015)|