1. Book review: Michel Bussi’s ‘Don’t Let Go’ is a gripper

Book review: Michel Bussi’s ‘Don’t Let Go’ is a gripper

Master of the plot, Bussi delivers yet another suspense-laden book that keeps the reader on tenterhooks till the end.

By: | New Delhi | Published: August 13, 2017 5:05 AM
Michel Bussi delivers yet another suspense-laden book that keeps the reader on tenterhooks till the end.

A couple is on holiday on Reunion Island with their six-year-old daughter. Everything seems idyllic. The weather is perfect, the setting serene. One afternoon, everything changes, when the woman goes missing. The hotel room is found in turmoil, with blood stains all over. All fingers point at the husband. A couple days later, he also flees the hotel with daughter in tow.

What’s happening, and has the woman been murdered, why did the husband wait for two days before fleeing, and is there more than meets the eye than plain murder?

When the author is Michel Bussi, expect the unbelievable, the unexpected and the oh-so-obvious. Master of the plot, Bussi delivers yet another suspense-laden book that keeps the reader on tenterhooks till the end. As with all his books, Bussi’s deception of the reader is accompanied by a hefty dose of a side story. If in Black Water Lilies, we got a charming portrayal of Monet’s village and his art, where the beautiful countryside and the gardens had come alive in Bussi’s words, the author gives us a glimpse of life and culture on Reunion Island in Don’t Let Go, sprinkling his narrative with the customs and languages of various ethnic groups on the island.

However, one would have liked to know a little more about policewoman Aja Purvi. For some reason, Bussi is sketchy about her character, what she thinks and how she operates, unlike inspector Laurence of Black Water Lilies. Also, after reading the previous book with its rich tapestry of art, romance and mystique, Don’t Let Go is a relatively less succulent book.

One also wonders why anyone who has lost someone so vital as a child would return to holiday with his new family at the same place, haunted by memories of a tragedy and a broken relationship?

All this aside, Bussi succeeds in keeping the reader engrossed, and attempting to figure out (in vain) what the mystery really is.

  1. C
    Catharine
    Aug 13, 2017 at 3:34 pm
    As a Brit who lives in Reunion when I first heard that "Ne lâche pas ma main" by France's third best-selling author was going to be translated into English I thought 'great'. There's very little written in English about Reunion, especially in fiction. Then I read the French book and was very disappointed. The crime story itself is decent enough, but: Bussi uses a lot of clichés about the island and has only a superficial knowledge of Reunion's social climate and realities gleaned from what I've gathered from one or two stays on the island Bussi uses some Creole but not always Reunion Creole (other people have said it's from the West Indies: Martinique or Guadeloupe) Bussi's timings are completely off (e.g. time taken to drive from Saint Gilles to the volcano, or time needed to walk from the Plaine des Sables to Sainte-Rose). This is somewhat surprising given that the author is also a Professor of Geography!
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