Review Blog

Nov 08 2017

Don't let go by Michel Bussi

cover image

Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2018. ISBN 9781474601795
(Age: secondary to adult) Recommended. Themes: Crime fiction, Reunion, Murder, Tourism. Don't you love new settings for crime fiction? Set on an island east of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, Reunion is a multi racial department of France, once home to many French, lured there by tax concessions, as well as Indian, Muslim, African and Creole inhabitants.
Martial is on holidays with his second wife, Liane and their daughter, Sophie, but suddenly, Liane disappears. Everyone has seen her walk through the lobby to the elevator in the up market resort, but when Martial goes looking for her, she is nowhere to be found. Theories abound, but the Chief Inspector, Aja Purvi, focusses on the husband whose behaviour is odd to say the least. When she finds that his son died in suspicious circumstances ten years before, things begin to escalate, especially when Martial takes off with his young daughter in tow. A police hunt ensues, made more impossible for Purvi by the arrival of her superior from Saint-Denis, wanting to put his stamp on the investigation. Her off sider, Christos further complicates things when he tells his partner of the investigation and she becomes involved, unravelling a thread which leads to her death.
A police chase over parts of the island sees Martial planning his escape with precision, even down to the arrival of a temperature inversion bringing fog across the mountains, giving him protection form spying eyes.
But not all is at it seems, as the narrative is told from several perspectives, and Bussi keeps us guessing all the while with clues as to what is actually going on.
I found the background to this cat and mouse story fascinating. Reunion is not a place I had known about so to read about it as the setting of this story held my interest, and had me checking Wikipedia for more information.
Bussi puts in translations of some of the often used words for people according to their backgrounds, and a map at the start is a guide to identifying the places spoken of, although I sourced a more detailed map on the Internet.
This is a translation, which may explain some of the awkward expressions, but the characters are fully developed and interesting, while the main story with its peaks and valleys is easily addictive.
Fran Knight

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