I haven’t read any of French author Michel Bussi’s novels before After The Crash, but I think that’s about to change. I was hooked fast by this novel.
Here’s the blurb:
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…
A fast-paced thriller, After The Crash takes readers on a whodunnit ride with a difference. Although the story seeks to reveal who the surviving girl is, she – Lylie was the name conceived by the media for her – plays a side role, disappearing once she’s read the account of the investigation into her background. It’s left to Marc, the young man she grew up with, who may or may not be her brother, to discover the evidence Grand-Duc uncovered last minute. It’s a race against time, because he knows Lylie is up to something, and once he realises what it is, he wants more than ever to know the truth. Always in Lylie’s shadow, the quiet one who doesn’t stand out, Marc comes into his own as he draws on strength and intelligence to read between the lines of Grand-Duc’s words. He forms an unlikely alliance with mad Malvina, who may or may not be Lylie’s sister, to go back to where it all started – Mont Terri, site of the crash.
Entertaining and riveting, After The Crash is a clever and dark thriller that will have you wondering who can be trusted and how you’re going to avoid doing anything but read through to the end. It’s pieced together well and despite being asked to suspend disbelief in some parts, readers should be able to accept this. I can see this as a movie, full of tension, questions and enough action to keep the pace moving. If you like a twisty-turny book that will keep you awake with suspense, this is worth adding to your list.
Available from good bookstores (RRP $29.99). My copy was courtesy of Hachette Australia.
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David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television