Review: After The Crash

September 18, 2015 in Book Reviews, Crime, Psychological Thriller

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: After The CrashAfter The Crash by Michel Bussi
Published by Weidenfield & Nicolson Genres: Psychological, Crime
Format: Hardback
Source: Publisher

On the night of 22 December 1980, a plane crashes on the Franco-Swiss border and is engulfed in flames. 168 out of 169 passengers are killed instantly. The miraculous sole survivor is a three-month-old baby girl. Two families, one rich, the other poor, step forward to claim her, sparking an investigation that will last for almost two decades. Is she Lyse-Rose or Emilie?

Eighteen years later, having failed to discover the truth, private detective Credule Grand-Duc plans to take his own life, but not before placing an account of his investigation in the girl's hands. But, as he sits at his desk about to pull the trigger, he uncovers a secret that changes everything - then is killed before he can breathe a word of it to anyone...

After The Crash is Waterstone’s ‘Thriller Book of the Month’ this month. So naturally, when I was offered a copy to read for myself, I snapped up the opportunity.

Translated from French, it’s a psychological thriller that will keep you engaged from the first page. If you’re anything like me, it might just frustrate you too. Frustration in a good way though – the way that makes you keep reading, determined to uncover the truth.

Basically, a plane crashes in the French Alps in December 1980. The sole survivor is a 3 month old girl. However, there were two girls that age on the flight, and being 1980 there’s no DNA analysis available to identify which family the small child belongs to.

So we follow the story of Lylie, a girl raised by one family but never knowing if she is in fact of their blood. On her 18th birthday, a suicidal private detective, hired to uncover the truth, leaves her his notebook with all the details he has managed to uncover.

Lylie has grown up with Mark, her ‘brother’. However he has more than brotherly love for her, and so uncovering the truth of her heritage is vital to him.┬áHaving read the detective’s notebook, Lylie gives it to Mark to read, and makes him promise not to try and find her as he disappears into the Parisian landscape.

It is through Mark’s reading of this notebook that we slowly uncover Lylie’s story. Coupled with reading the detective’s notes, Mark undertakes some investigations of his own in a bid to find out who his sister is. In doing so, he meets a disturbed girl, who also believes that Lylie is her sister.

I really enjoyed the way this story was told, slowly uncovering details through the detective’s notebook, as well as through Mark’s own memories and investigations.

I fully admit to being frustrated with this book though. I found it hard to comprehend why they just hadn’t done a DNA test on the girl? Obviously, as a baby this wasn’t an option as DNA analysis didn’t exist, but why not later in life? We do find out why eventually, but for a large portion of this book I found myself irritated by this fact; so irritated in fact that I put the book down, filled my husband in on the story and asked “WHY?”

Frustration aside, I enjoyed this read. It’s fascinating, well-written, hopeful and heart wrenching. It’s a book that I’m so glad I read, and I really hope more of Michel Bussi’s work is translated into English in the future.

Have you read After The Crash? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.