After the Crash by Michel Bussi

After the Crash by Michel Bussi


I am impatient. I hate to be interrupted while I read a good book. After the Crash was brilliantly frustrating. Let me set the scene. A plane crashed killing 168 people. One person survived, a three-month-old baby girl. There were two baby girls on that plane: Lyse-Rose and Emilie. Finding the baby’s identity became a clash of the classes. The super-rich de Carvilles believe the baby is their granddaughter Lyse-Rose. The poor Vitral family believe it is their granddaughter Emilie. Neither can prove it.

Few things to point out before I talk about the wonderfully exasperating way the story is told. Firstly, the plane crashed in 1980, before DNA testing was as accurate as it is today. Second, the story is told many years later after the infant is ‘identified’ by a judge. That baby is now grown up when the book begins. Thirdly, unhappy with the decision made by the judge, the ‘losing’ family hire a private detective: Crédule Grand-Duc.

After The Crash is the diary of Crédule Grand-Duc, after his murder.

The book takes place over a number of HOURS. Emilie (as decided by the judge, known as Lylie by the French public) has disappeared after reading the detective’s diary. The diary now lies with Marc Vitral, her brother, who is trying to find her while reading the diary. He is constantly interrupted! He has to change trains, the psycho granddaughter of the de Carvilles is trying to get to the diary, other people are getting murdered! So annoying! It is a page turner where you are not turning the pages! You understand now why I’m happy to be angry.

It was addictive. I do love a thriller where the author is in total control of your reading experience. The detective was about to take his own life, his life’s work unsolved, when he begins to laugh. It’s so obvious. No it’s not! I read the entire book trying to piece together the mystery of Lylie’s origins. I wanted to solve it before the secret revealed itself. After the Crash is immaculately constructed. One final cliché: it grabs your attention and does not let go! Just trust me, go read it.

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