Book Review: Don’t Let Go, By Michel Bussi

Publisher:   W & N

Publication date:  27th April 2017

It’s such a pleasure to kick back and settle down with a book from an author who is reliably brilliant; other than knowing you’re in for a treat you have no idea what to expect, as every story has been utterly unique in their presentation, plot, and finale.

Don’t Let Go exceeded my expectations as it’s a cracker of a cunning mystery, nurtured to perfection.

A missing wife, an anxious husband, and their blood-splattered hotel room all point to a grave outcome, but statements from witnesses conflict with the facts. Despite the carnage no body is found, yet no one saw her leave their room after she went inside. The details that emerge suggest premeditated murder but without the evidence of a physical corpse the fate of Liane Bellion cannot be determined, only that she has vanished into thin air.

Ooh, I do love a book like this! The sharp hook of suspense caught me right away!  I was trying to work out scenarios as to why Liane’s husband would casually leave his daughter swimming in the hotel pool after excusing himself to check on his wife, then call the police to report her missing and successfully draw attention to himself as a pattern of erratic behaviour is revealed.

The chronological time stamps included within each chapter were similar to following a live bulletin, while maintaining a flowing story format. This additional level of reality it impresses just how dangerous lost time can be to an investigation of this nature as every what, why, where, and how take a step closer to the husband’s guilt. The police authorities grow restless and overworked, and the prime suspect makes so many illogical moves I was wondering what he could possibly be trying to achieve. Of course it all becomes quite clear. Until then, the island’s residents are speculating, backed up by sources of gossip and details not exchanged with police during interviews. 

Don’t Let Go is a title you can’t fully appreciate until you near the end of a holiday in this vivid Indian Ocean setting, where some of the characters are wishing they most definitely weren’t there. While the frantic race is on to solve a vengeful riddle before the ultimate sacrifice must be made, the diverse heritage of Réunion Island allows its cultural history to blend into the story at just the right intervals. 

Simply superb

Rating: 4.5/5

(I requested a copy of this title from the publisher, via Netgalley. Huge thanks to them for obliging as it is my absolute pleasure to provide an unbiased review for this cracking book.)

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

Picture the scene – an idyllic resort on the island of Réunion. Martial and Liane Bellion are enjoying the perfect moment with their six-year-old daughter. Turquoise skies, clear water, palm trees, a warm breeze…

Then Liane Bellion disappears. She went up to her hotel room between 3 and 4pm and never came back. When the room is opened, it is empty, but there is blood everywhere. An employee of the hotel claims to have seen Martial in the corridor during that crucial hour.

Then Martial also disappears, along with his daughter. An all-out manhunt is declared across the island. But is Martial really his wife’s killer? And if he isn’t, why does he appear to be so guilty?


(Courtesy of Publisher’s website)

Michel Bussi is the author of the bestsellers After the Crash and Black Water Lilies, both of which were Waterstones Thriller of the Month. In France, where he has published ten novels, he is the second bestselling author overall, with over a million novels sold in 2016 alone, and he has won over sixteen literary awards. When not writing fiction, he is a Professor of Geography at the University of Rouen.


My Reviews for this author’s other standalone books:

After The Crash

Black Water Lilies

12 thoughts on “Book Review: Don’t Let Go, By Michel Bussi

  1. Great review! I really struggled to read After the Crash so haven’t paid a lot of attention to this book but after reading your review I think I definitely need to give the author another chance. I’m going to go add this book to my wish list now as it does sound like my kind of read.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve just finished this book after requesting and loved it! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Michel Bussi’s novel. I prefer After The Crash and Don’t Let Go more than Black Water Lilies though.


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