I read the plot summary and I was very intrigued by it: a baby as only survivor of a plane crash, two families fighting over the identity of the baby and a detective trying to solve the mystery. Sounded really good.
However, in reality it is not really a mystery, it is more a series of half truth, strange characters which change from being very bad to good and viceversa, a lot of avoidable and repetitive passages.
It is my first French mystery from memory and I am not impressed, even if I read brilliant reviews about this book in the UK and very good ones about his other books in Italy.
I must say that I did not like any of the characters either, from the private detective to the family members to the "miracle baby". I found all them unilateral, with not enough depth in them as if the author just draw their shapes without filling them in. An the sudden change of their behaviours and attitudes in not something you would see so dramatically in the real life.
The line of investigation that Credule - the private investigator - is following are also all over the place, and some of them are too dragged out and they stopped to be interested after a while.
On top of everything, the solution of the mystery is very guessable from about 3/4 of the novel, so I was also missing that "who has done it?" feeling that I love from crime books.
I really struggle to get to the end of the book as I was bored of it and un-involved. I progressed in the reading just because it'd be have been annoying not to confirm my suspicions on the truth.
In summary, a negative read for me and I would need to be extremely lacking any other source of reading to go back to a book from Bussi I am afraid.
Overall rating: 5 Plot: 5 Writing style: 5 Cover: 5
Title:After the crash
Author: Michel Bussi
Publisher: W&N (Orion books)
Publication year: 2015
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.
Michel Bussi has won 15 literary awards, making him one of France's most prestigious crime authors. When not writing fiction, he is a Professor of Geography at the University of Rouen and a political commentator. AFTER THE CRASH is his first book to be published in the UK.