Review of 'I Let Her Go' - J A Andrews
Some secrets should have stayed buried... Lucy Mitchell had a troubled past, was abandoned by her mother and left to fend for herself in foster care. This is where she met Amber and Josh, but living in a strict foster home brought fears of its own. Fears that brought Amber and Lucy closer together. Amber and Lucy formed a pact. They said they would be friends for life and often found solace in the local woods to escape from their foster carer, Linda. This was a place they used to hide together, but when only one girl had returned from the woods, the note said Amber had run away. Fifteen years later and Lucy is planning the wedding of her dreams with Josh until a body is found, then the trauma of Lucy’s past comes back to haunt her. Tensions mount as Lucy, Josh and Linda all have secrets to hide and distrust makes them question each others story around Ambers disappearance. As the body's identity is soon to be exposed, life for Lucy takes a terrifying turn for the worst. The note says Lucy is next!
I was attracted to this book when it came up for review because it sounded intriguing and it certainly was. The central characters are all damaged in some way by their pasts and that shared history has a direct impact on the events in the book. Josh, Lucy and Linda act as the narrators and all three are unreliable, so at no point does the reader ever feel that they have a true grasp on what is going on. It is only through the different points of view that we get a picture of what the characters are really like and even then we are not sure we really have a handle on them. None of them really trust each other and this fact only adds to the sense of tension and suspense. The big reveal when it comes is unexpected but makes sense in the context of the characters' stories. There were one or two loose ends that weren't tied up but these were minor points so didn't detract too much from the story. Overall, this was a decent thriller that kept my attention and maintained the suspense throughout the narrative. The characters' backgrounds are difficult to comprehend for people who haven't been through the care system and I think as a society we would like to believe that things like this couldn't really happen. However, as we all too frequently find out, mistakes can be and are, made and sometimes the most vulnerable members of society are repeatedly let down by the systems which are meant to protect them. This is not an easy read if you look beyond the immediate 'thriller' aspect and delve more deeply into the underlying narrative.
JA Andrews is from Devon in the UK and the author of gripping twisty psychological thrillers. As well as writing fiction, he enjoys reading a mix of genres, watching reality TV and spending time with family and friends. He is a member of the Crime Writers Association and is often plotting his next novel...
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