2019 Silver Falchion Candidate


Don't Let Go

Don’t Let Go

By Michel Bussi

Weidenfeld & Nicolson
ISBN 978-1474601788
Publication Date: 2017

Don’t Let Go

Review by Sharon Woods Hopkin

“Don’t Let Go” is a thriller set in Réunion, a tropical island in the Indian Ocean, under French control. The plot, although interesting was convoluted at times, with points of view changing frequently. It was at times, hard to tell whose story it was. Each main character tells his/her story in a time-stamp-like narrative, and always under the watchful eye of the omniscient voice. It’s not a style which I’ve seen very often. However, the plot was compelling enough that I kept reading.

Liane, her husband, Martial and spoiled young daughter Sopha, are on holiday on this beautiful island far away from their home country of France. One day, Liane leaves the pool to go up to her hotel room. Later, Martial asks a nearby couple to look after Sopha while he checks on his wife who is gone longer than he thought she should be.  Finding the hotel door locked, and himself without his key, he asks the hotel staff to open it. Upon entering there is no Liane, but the room is a mess, all her things have gone and there is blood. He calls the police, but then the timeline puts Martial solidly in first place as a suspect. As the police spread out a net, Martial takes his daughter  to run away, then finds a message written in the dust on his rental car—a message which drives the two of them to go inland, in search of Liane, while the police are hunting Martial as a murderer.

The ending was a bit overdone, but still satisfying.

I kept wishing I could get to know the characters a bit better, especially since so many of them had a point of view, such as Martial,  Aja, the female police captain, Christos, her older male partner, his girlfriend, Imelda, his daughter Sopha and several staff at the resort.

And finally, I was a bit confused as to why Martial chose to even go to the island, in light of the history he had there when he lived there before, which we, the readers learn about as the story and chase progresses.

The foreign language phrases that were explained with footnotes kept me flipping pages and pulling me out of the story. I would have preferred to have seen the phrases translated on the go, as to have to search the end of each chapter for the footnotes.


Sharon Woods Hopkins’ mystery series featuring mortgage banker Rhetta McCarter and her ’79 Camaro hits close to home. Sharon is a former branch manager for a mortgage office of a Missouri bank. She also owns the original Cami, a restored ’79 Camaro like Rhetta’s. Sharon’s hobbies include painting, fishing, photography, flower gardening, and restoring muscle cars with her son, Jeff. She is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Guppies, Thriller Writers of America, the Southeast Missouri Writers’ Guild, Heartland Writers, and the Missouri Writers’ Guild.