3 October 2021

Review: NEVER FORGET, Michel Bussi

  • this edition an e-book made available on Libby by my local library
  • first published in French 2014
  • translated into English from French by Shaun Whiteside 2020
  • ISBN 9781474601856

Synopsis (Amazon)

Jamal loves to run. But one morning - as he is training on a path winding up a steep cliff - he stumbles across a woman in distress. It's a matter of seconds: suddenly she is falling through the air, crashing on the beach below.

Jamal is only an unlucky bystander - or is he?

His version of events doesn't seem to fit with what other eyewitnesses claim to have seen. And how to explain the red scarf carefully arranged around the dead woman's neck? Perhaps this was no accident after all.

Or perhaps there is something more sinister afoot - a devilish plan decades in the making, masterminded by someone hell-bent on revenge.

My Take

You always know with a Michel Bussi novel, that nothing is going to be simple. 

From the beginning there are apparently two separate stories: on July 12th 2014 a section of cliff near Yport collapsed, and scattered over 40 metres of the beach among the debris are three human skeletons. Five months earlier a macabre event occurred with no apparent connection to the three skeletons. Out for his morning jog, Jamal witnesses a girl leap off the cliff to the beach below. By the time he gets down to the beach, she is dead, and there are two people standing there looking st the corpse.

There are inconsistencies that Jamal does not understand, and as days progress, he feels uncomfortably that the police are trying to imply that he has had something to do with the death.

Jamal discovers that the event is horribly similar to one that took place almost exactly 10 years earlier on a nearby coastline. The police thought that one was a rape/murder, and it was followed quickly by another. The murderer was never identified.

The thing I find about Michel Bussi plots is that they play with your mind.You begin to wonder whether the narrator is reliable, or whether the whole thing is just a nightmare that you somehow slipped into.  But good things come to those who persist.

My rating: 4.7

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