23 July 2017

Review: AFTER THE CRASH, Michel Bussi

  • this edition first published in Great Britain 2015 by Orion Publishing Group
  • ISBN 978-0-297-87142-2
  • translated from French by Sam Taylor
  • 386 pages
  • source: my local library
Synopsis (Good Reads)

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..

My take

A private investigator, Credule Grand-Duc, is employed by the richer of the two families, the de Carvilles, to continue to investigate the identity of the baby girl for 18 years,with continual financial support, despite the fact that a court has given the baby into the care of the other family.

We see the investigation through his eyes, through the journal in which he has summarised the 18 year investigation for the benefit, he says, primarily of the baby girl who has now had her 18th birthday. The journal tells a meandering story during which little conclusive evidence is revealed.
    In this notebook I have reviewed all the clues, all the leads, all the theories I have found in eighteen years of investigation. It is all here, in these hundred or so pages. If you have read them carefully, you will now know as much as I do. Perhaps you will be more perceptive than me? Perhaps you will find something I have missed? The key to the mystery, if one exists. Perhaps.. 
    For me, it is over.
The plot made intriguing reading with Grand-Duc's investigation constantly posing little problems, particularly with what the de Carville family hoped to get out of supporting the ongoing investigation. Is there a hidden agenda?

My rating: 4.5

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