I raced through my July pick for ‘The Year in Books’, I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh. I’d chosen this psychological thriller – about a detective investigating a fatal hit-and-run and a woman trying to escape her past in a remote Welsh village – because I thought it would make a good holiday read during my recent trip to Sweden. It certainly did. It was gripping, tense and emotional; the kind of book that had me fighting sleep to read just another page, and then another and another… The author is a former police officer, so I got the sense that both the plot and the procedural details were a little more realistic than you might find in other novels. And, as all good thrillers should, it had a fairly hefty twist that took me completely by surprise.
Like all my choices for ‘The Year in Books’, I Let You Go is set partly in Bristol. To be honest, I didn’t feel the location added much to the plot other than to demarcate different phases in the characters’ lives, but the passing mentions of roads and neighbourhoods I know well certainly made the action seem all the more vivid and immediate.
For August I’ve opted for something completely different: Station to Station by James Attlee. It’s a collection of real-life stories from places along the Bristol-London railway line, and it’s been billed by The Independent as ‘part personal odyssey, part history, part architectural guide, and part reflection on the nature of travel’. I often journey along this route with my head stuck in a book and barely notice the towns and villages whizzing by, so I’m looking forward to discovering some of the tales that lie behind them. And, as I come from a family of railwaymen and grew up travelling by train, I think it might bring on a touch of childhood nostalgia…
‘The Year in Books’ is a monthly blog series run by Laura of Circle of Pine Trees; there’s also a regular Twitter chat where everyone can share recommendations. Head over to the information page to find out more about taking part – and happy reading!