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Time Is a Killer

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  2,213 ratings  ·  277 reviews
From the author of “the wonderfully ingenious and altogether satisfying” After The Crash (Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review).

A fatal accident in the past, broken lives, family secrets...Michel Bussi serves up a gripping thriller, set amid the beautiful scenery of Corsica.

In the summer of 2016, Clotilde is spending her vacation in Corsica with her husband Franck an
Paperback, 519 pages
Published April 10th 2018 by Europa Editions (first published May 4th 2016)
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Pavel Sorokin I loved it from the first pages, but it got a bit worse for me towards the end. So if you don't like it so far, I think it's safe to assume you'd like…moreI loved it from the first pages, but it got a bit worse for me towards the end. So if you don't like it so far, I think it's safe to assume you'd like it even less further in.(less)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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 ·  2,213 ratings  ·  277 reviews

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Michel Bussi writes stunning psychological thrillers, and Time is a Killer is just amazing. Translated from the French, it shifts from the past to the present, set on the island of Corsica. A 15 year old Clothilde Idrissi is the sole survivor of a car crash which kills her parents, Paul and Palma, and her 18 year old brother, Nicolas in 1989. 27 years later, now Clothilde Baron, married to Franck, and with 15 year old daughter, Valentine, aka Valou, she returns to lay the ghosts that have haunte ...more
Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

*3.5 stars*

Time Is A Killer by Michel Bussi. (2018).
(Originally published in French, 2016).

Sunmer, 1989: Clotilde is 15 and on holiday with her parents in Corsica when their car plunges into a ravine and only Clotilde survives.
27 years later Clotilde returns to the island with her husband and daughter. She receives a letter from her mother - as if her mother was still alive. Clotilde begins to question the past even though she saw the c
Ian Mapp
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Time is a Killer is the English translation.... and I'll tell you what another killer is - 450 pages of sub Harlen Coben nonsense that manages to be both plodding and beyond rational analysis.

Corsica comes out of it well though - sounds beautiful.

Teenage Clothilde in 1980s is a 15 year old goth, addicted to Betelgeuse and on holiday with her elder brother and parents. There is a crash in a red Renault Fuego. I know this, as it must be repeated a 1000 times over the 450 pages. Her parents are wip
Vivek Tejuja
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I remember reading Michel Bussi’s, “After the Crash” in one night. I remember not sleeping (thank god it was a weekend, so I eventually did catch up on some sleep) and before I knew it, it was dawn and the book was done. And what a read it was! The same did not happen this time. I loved, “Time is a Killer” but the book was way too long for me to pull an all-nighter and finish it. At 512 pages, not once did I find it dull, boring, or insipid. At the same time, if anything, I just wanted more and ...more
Jun 03, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Bailed out at 41%. Corny, not terribly original, and withholds information in an irritating manner because the whole thing would fall apart if it didn't. The structure - one chapter in the present, followed by one chapter from the central character's 1989 diary, which reads exactly like how a 40-odd year old man thinks a teenage girl would write - grates, especially when something half-way interesting happens, because you know you'll have to wait another chapter for a follow-up, and maybe not ev ...more
Deb R
Apr 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 1989, Clotilde was on vacation with her parents in Corsica. Their car plunged into a ravine in a curve on a curvy mountain road. Clotilde was the only survivor as her parents and older brother were killed. It is now 27 years later, and Clotilde has returned to Corsica with her husband and teenage daughter. She receives a letter signed by her mother as if she were still alive. Someone is tormenting Clotilde with memories from her past.

I found the book to be interesting, but it wasn't one of th
The reviews I had read of this book and author enticed me to want to read it but unfortunately I struggled to get into it. The initial story of Clothilde being left alone following the devastating crash that killed her family was an intriguing start with much potential but I found there were too many characters and the storyline so slow moving that I lost the will to carry on reading it. The descriptive writing however is wonderful, just a shame that this was not my type of read but you can't ha ...more
Heather Withington
Michel Bussi has once again created a story where I was completely engrossed in the world and the plot. It kept me guessing until the very end. It was a tad slow to get going and I am not sure that the translation from French to English was as smooth as previous books, as at times I found it difficult to follow. However, the plot remained easy to follow and the ending was just as surprising, and satisfying as other books by Mr Bussi.

A really good read and one that I enjoyed.
Mary Lou
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clothilde, sole survivor of a tragic accident twenty seven years earlier, returns to Corsica with her husband and teenage daughter. Memories of that year come flooding back as she re-encounters her childhood acquaintances, but some odd occurrences make her doubt the reliability of her recollections. Going against the advice of her husband, Clothilde needs to put her ghosts to rest.
Michel Bussi has produced a gripping thriller, page after page when the need to know becomes hardly bearable. Just a
Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits

In the front of Time Is A Killer readers are told that Michel Bussi is the second-best-selling author in France and has won sixteen literary awards. Unfortunately, I couldn't see much evidence of that acclaim in this novel. The book is not a complete waste of time to read, but sadly I was mostly underwhelmed! To start with the positives, I appreciated the vivid descriptions of rugged Corsican scenery and glimpses into the history and culture
Dimitris Passas (TapTheLine)
I was introduced to the work of the French crime author, Michel Bussi, by reading his bestseller After the Crash, an absorbing crime novel revolving around a fatal plane crash and a puzzling case of mistaken identity. Even though I was not fascinated from this first encounter with French crime fiction, I was waiting a long time to buy Time is a Killer as I thought that its synopsis was truly intriguing and promising. In terms of quality and plot, it's equal to After the Crash though perhaps a bi ...more
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Clotilde was 15 she was in a car crash that killed her parents and brother. Twenty seven years later she returns to the island of Corsica with her husband and teenage daughter to lay her ghosts to rest. But when she gets there, she's given a letter supposedly from her dead mother. This is the fourth of Bussi's novels to be translated into English and every one has been an absolute page turner. I whizzed through this 450 page novel in a day.
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another thriller by Bussi that I really enjoyed, although I had to read more slowly in French. Set in Corsica, the novel is atmospheric and suspenseful, the plot full of twists and turns, involving many intriguing personalities and characters.

HIghly recommended.
Apr 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The description of Corsica in this book is wonderful and really made me want to visit the island. The story is well written and the plot is intriguing, with a fair amount of suspense.
I just really didn’t like the characters and found the main plot twist pretty unbelievable.
My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for this copy.
3,5/5 stars. A great summer thriller read ; it's fast-paced and gripping, I finished those 600 pages in three days!
Karen Keane
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book. I found it a bit slow to start with but once I got into it I didn't want to put it down. It covers 2 timelines in Corsica, one when Clotilde was 15 and had lost her family in a tragic accident, and another one 27 years later when she receives a letter that makes her question the 'accident'. Translated from French it really is a suspenseful and compelling read.
Lynn Brown
The synopsis of this book really hooked me in, but when I began to read the book I struggled to stay with it. I found it very slow and boring for the most part. It is translated from French and I wondered if something had literally been lost in translation? Most of the sentences did not make sense to me - they read in a abstract way, perhaps it is the authors style? But I did not like it.

The book flips between 1989 and 2016 - although each era is labelled as such, I still felt disorientated at t
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In all honesty I dragged myself through 300 pages and then gave up. I have so many other books I want to read that I put it back on the shelf, started something else but doubt I will ever go back to it. That is the only the second time i have not finished a book and I've read hundreds.
Babus Ahmed
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another haunting psychological thriller from Michel Bussi. Twenty-seven years ago Clotilde lost her parents and brother in a devastating accident, now mother of a fifteen year old daughter she returns to the place her life changed forever to find that the ghosts of the past have not been laid to rest. From the reluctance of her husband and daughter to acknowledge her unrest at the events from years past to the locals who just want her gone so she doesn’t stir up a hornets nest, Clotilde remains ...more
Apr 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is told alternating between past and present. In 1989, fifteen year old Clotilde is on holiday on the beautiful island of Corsica, with her parents and brother. There is a car accident and everyone is killed except Clotilde.
2016 and Clotilde has returned to Corsica for the first time since the accident with her husband and teenage daughter. On returning to the same area where she spent her holiday with her parents all those years ago, she receives a letter, from her Mother. How can th
Mark Ellis
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another superb mystery thriller by Michel Bussi, one of the new stars of French thriller writing. I have now read three of his books. All have contained extremely gripping and ingenious plots. This story is set in summertime Corsica and unravels the story behind a fatal accident thirty years before. Beautifully written and perfect holiday reading.
Sara Eames
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another satisfying thriller from the pen of Michel Bussi. Time is a Killer is a little slow to start but worth sticking with. All the ingredients that you expect from Bussi are contained within the pages of this novel - well-written characters, descriptions that draw you into Corsica, a twist that I didn't see coming, peril for the main characters - all building to a very satisfying conclusion. Highly recommended.
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Setting: Corsica; 1989 & 2016. 27 years after the car accident which she survived but in which her parents and brother perished, Clotilde finally plucks up the courage to return to Corsica, accompanied by her husband Franck and teenage daughter Valentine. Clotilde feels that her daughter should have an awareness of her family history now she has reached the same age as she was when the accident happened. But Clotilde soon receives a message in her mother's handwriting, saying things that only he ...more
Apr 19, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-read, abandoned
I just couldn't get into this book enough to finish it. I didn't enjoy the narrator either in the present day or when the chapters flashed back to her journal from her teenage years. This was supposed to be a thriller/mystery and I never really discovered what the mystery was or why I should worry about it. I feel bad about now liking this more as this author is well known in France and I do love a good mystery, but this just didn't do it for me.
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like the way the author structures his books. Here the past is told mainly through the main character's diary, written when she was a teenager, and her visit to Corsica with her husband and daughter. Her diary ends hours before an horrific event and now she wants to find out the truth. Twists and turns until I didn't know what to think!
Melissa McGuire
I tried so many times to get into this book but I just couldnt. I love descriptions but in this book there was way too many it dragged the book out more than it should. The characters I couldnt bring myself tonlike them either. Overall this book was not for me
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely savoured every word of this most cleverly plotted thriller. We start with a really bad car accident with fifteen year old Clotilde being the sole survivor of her immediate family. Her parents, Paul and Palma, and brother, Nicolas, all dying at the scene of the crash. Fast forward nearly 30 years and Clotilde is now married with a fifteen year old child of her own and they have returned to her childhood holiday island of Corsica. The first time she has returned there since the crash. ...more
Megan Jones
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In summer 1989, fifteen-year-old Clotilde was on holiday with her family in Corsica. On a twisty mountain road, their car came off the road and plunged into a ravine, Clotilde was the only survivor. Twenty-seven years later, Clotilde has returned to Corsica with her husband and daughter. Once there, Clotilde receives a letter, one that appears to be from her mother as if she were still alive. As a result, Clotilde starts to question the past and begins to consider the impossible, could her mothe ...more
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, thriller
Michel Bussi's stories are not like the average mystery/thriller. His characters are ordinary people, and it takes some time before you realise that there actually is a murder mystery. The murder(s) enter the story very discreetly, and it is as you go along, that you understand that all is not what it seems to be.

"In the summer of 2016, Clotilde is spending her vacation in Corsica with her husband Franck and her teenage daughter Valentine. It is the first time she has been back to the island si
Elaine Tomasso
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would like to thank Netgalley and Orion Publishing Group for an advance copy of Time is a Killer, a stand alone novel set in Corsica.

27 years after 15 year old Clotilde Baron survived a car crash which killed her parents and her brother she returns to Corsica to introduce her husband and daughter to her heritage and come to terms with the accident but strange things start happening, not least a letter from her dead mother. She feels as if she's going mad but it awakens in her a dogged determin
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Michel Bussi est un auteur et politologue français, professeur de géographie à l'université de Rouen. Il est spécialiste de géographie électorale.

Michel Bussi is one of France's most celebrated crime authors. The winner of more than 15 major literary awards, he is a professor of geography at the University of Rouen and a political commentator. After the Crash, his first book to appear in English,

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