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.