cover image Don’t Let Go

Don’t Let Go

Michel Bussi, trans. from the French by Sam Taylor. Europa, $17 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-60945-453-1

In this uneven crime novel from Bussi (Time Is a Killer), vacationers Martial and Liane Bellion and their six-year-old daughter, Josapha, are lounging by the pool at Réunion Island’s Hotel Athena when Liane decides to retreat upstairs. An hour later, Martial goes to check on her, only to find their room empty and spattered with blood. Witness statements suggest that Martial played a role in Liane’s disappearance, but before the police can arrest him, he and Josapha flee. Authorities assume they’re dealing with a domestic dispute, until someone begins murdering locals. Are the crimes related? If Liane is dead, where is her body—and where is Martial headed? After an adrenaline-fueled start, the story loses speed. Bussi imbues his tale with a strong sense of culture and place, but his plot is too dependent on Réunion’s quirks to remain accessible to the average reader. The cast teems with caricatures, the mystery’s myriad twists go unearned, and frequent footnotes make the translation feel more academic than artful. [em](Oct.) [/em]