After The Crash

  • Title –  After The CrashAfter the crash
  • Author – Michel Bussi
  • Publisher – Hachette India
  • Genre – Fiction
  • Pages – 386
  • Price – INR 399
  • ISBN – 978-1-4746-0204-4

Synopsis – 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.

Review – The book has an intriguing cover that captures the essence of the plot with precision and beauty. One would appreciate the beauty of the cover once you delve in the realms of this crime thriller. The dragonfly on the cover, stained in ink and blood hints at the private detective’s journal that forms the spine of the plot revolving around finding the bloodline of the protagonist, Lylie.

The title of the book is simple yet perfectly suiting the premise of the book.

I am a huge fan of thriller books. The minute I read the synopsis of the book, I knew I had to pick it up because the plot wasn’t looking for a missing person; instead the identity of a young girl was unknown for 18 long years. The recommendation by The Sunday Times on the cover of the book gave me the final push and to say the least, I am glad I picked this book.

The book has been originally written in French and translated in English by Sam Taylor. One cannot miss the comparison made by The Sunday Times to works by Steig Larson. This was perhaps they share the genre of the plot, however, I personally felt Larson’s works come across as more profound (in making an impact on the reader) than this book.

However, this book is an absolute delight for anyone who loves reading crime thrillers because it’s lucid narration, rich vocabulary and fast pace keeps the reader rushing back and forth attempting to connect the dots and seek a solution to the ever-magnifying mystery. The beauty of the plot lies in the sensitive, close to reality description of the characters in the plot, where enough room has been given for each of them to grow, except Lylie.

” Even as the global economy expands, families still feel the same, age-old desire to be reunited around a Christmas tree, or a birthday cake, or a bride and groom, or a coffin.”

I felt the author holds back from talking at depth about the protagonist around whom the whole book revolves, perhaps to resist the readers from guessing the solution to the mystery. I wish to congratulate the author on successful portrayal of the character of Malvina, her pain and suffering in the years of her growing up. It not only comes across as sensitive and poignant but also moves the reader, evoking emotions of sympathy for the young girl. You’d feel similar emotions stir in your heart for Nicole.

“It is true, fate is like a playground bully, always picking on the weakest, but still… there are limits.”

As a parent, I couldn’t help wonder on many occasions, how would I have reacted or acted to protect my child had I been in the shoes of the Carville or the Vitral family. The plot is captivating and intriguing with hardly a pause in the action, thickening with every page you read.

Besides, holding back from sharing life from Lylie’s point of view the one thing that I believe could be changed would be the abrupt way the book finds answers to all its questions. After slowly building up the plot, the answers seemed to pour in fast and quick. Given the length of the story, I am sure extra 30 pages wouldn’t have hurt given the fact, the book is unputdownable right from page one to the last line.

I highly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys reading thrillers that keeps the reader on their tenterhooks, leaving you craving for more even after the mystery has been solved.

About the Author – Michel Bussi has won fifteen literary awards, making him one of the France’s most prestigious crime authors. When not writing fiction, he is a professor of Geography at the University of Rouen and a political commentator.

After the Crash is to be translated into twenty-six languages around the world and is his first book to be published in the UK.

Rating – 4.5/5

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