After the Crash

First review of 2016! And what a book to review…

After the Crash by Michel Bussi

Originality: ♥♥♥♥♥
Quality of Writing: ♥♥♥♥
Plot: ♥♥♥♥
Setting: ♥♥♥♥♥
Character: ♥♥♥♥
Overall: ♥♥♥♥♥

This book had been lying in my room for a while when one day I decided to finally start reading it. I was intrigued by the plot: a plane crash leaves everybody but a baby dead- but who is the child? Does she belong to the De Carville family, or the Vitrals? The novel follows detective Grand-duc's  investigation into the search for the truth, spanning eighteen years of grief, disappointment, and a series of leads that is ultimately enclosed in a devastating twist. Perhaps I might have given too much away, but even I guessed what had happened about half way thought, but this certainly did not put me off.

I loved Grand-duc's journals - the way they were written and the narrative that stretched and built up a tension that ensured I read through to the end. Some bits I found dragged a bit too excessively, it was agonizing really to have to keep ploughing on. But there were some twists that I had not countered for, so I guess it was worth the wait.

I generally liked the characters - although the miracle baby - Lyse-Rose - didn't play a very big part. But this doesn't matter - it's not about her growing up (which can be seen a little in the detective's journals) but about the emotional battle between the two families and Grand-duc's search for truth. I felt sorry for even the meanest of characters - the plane crash had such a huge impact that it's hard to imagine how both families could cope with not knowing who had rights to the child.

This book was translated from the French original. I feel like I should read translated books more often- they show a different culture and the French setting intrigued me very much. The descriptions of the different settings were beautiful and mixed well with the plot. Sense of location was strong in this novel with certain areas having strong meanings and purpose. I think Bussi was very clever with his continuous changes of locations, like the way a good actor makes use of a whole stage in a play. Not many writers can do this - it is an art.

Others may think differently of this book - it is up to you whether this is the kind of book for you. It is a thriller that builds up gently, but at the same time it tears at you, makes you want to reach the end, and find the final result. Prepare for a heart-breaking thriller that will put The Girl on the Train to shame. Overall, five stars. 


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