I had heard so much about After The Crash by Michel Bussi from other bloggers and general internet reviews, yet the book sat on my to read list for months before I finally received it for Christmas.
When a plane crashes into the French – Swiss border in 1980, there was believed to be two babies on board. Only one survived. In fact the baby was the only survivor of all the 180 passengers and crew on board. The baby couldn’t be identified correctly so was she the granddaughter of an upper class family, or the granddaughter of a working class family? A judge had the difficult decision to make.
The book begins with the story of the private investigator hired by the upper class family when the baby was small to find out who she was. We learn very quickly that the year is now 1988, and the girl is about to turn 18 and become and adult. It would appear that the investigator has spent all those years searching without finding any concrete proof to the baby’s identity. Lillie as she is known could be Emilie or Lyse-Rose, no-one has managed to find out for sure despite the advances in technology over the years.
It would appear at the beginning of the book that the investigator did in fact find something, right at the very end of his contract with the upper class family. With this intention to end his own life on the eve of Lillie’s birthday, something happened that we are not privy to as the reader until the very end of the book.
The book is told via the investigator’s journal that he sent to Lillie for her 18th birthday, and also from the perspective of Marc, Emilie’s brother who she has grown up with. I wondered if I would find it difficult to get into the book as it has very strong French annotations within its writing, however it was very easy to read and even flitting from past to present was very easy to keep up with.
I was very impressed with the storyline and unlike no other I have read for quite some time, it kept me guessing almost to the end, although despite guessing I couldn’t be quite sure and it was only when it was confirmed did it all make sense to the reader. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to read After The Crash now.