After the Crash by Michel Bussi
Release date: 12 March 2015
Back cover blurb: 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...
I'm still not entirely sure what made me pick up this novel the day I got on a flight to Italy, particularly as it was sadly just days after the GermanWings tragedy. But I have a strange fascination with all things plane crash related as regular readers of my blog will know.
For those of a slightly nervous disposition, then please be assured that the plane crash literally just the beginning of this brilliant novel.
After the Crash as its title suggests, is about just that. The aftermath of a horrific plane crash into the side of a mountain, where there is one miraculous sole survior. A three month old baby girl.
With the girl's parents killed in the plane crash, no one seems to know who the infant belongs to. Until two families from very different backgrounds come forward, each of them proclaiming that the child is their granddaughter and they can prove it.
A local private detective is bought in to assist with the situation, and from the beginning he is convinced he knows the child's true identity, allowing that particular family to obtain custody and bring her up in their care. Neither family is prepared for the 18 year battle that will follow...
Whilst it may seem unbelievable that a baby would survive such a tragic event where others perished. The truth is that sole survivors from real life plane crashes do exist, although it is rare.
Having said that, there was something about this novel from the start that made me think that there was something a little off. Something didn't ring true, and I began to wonder perhaps if I had watched too many episodes of Air Crash Investigation!
The feuding families, the dodgy private detective and the vast sums of money being exchanged in the quest for the truth make for an excellently structured crime novel that will leave you wondering until its final pages.
I can't wait to see what this author comes up with next!
After the Crash is available to buy now from Amazon online and all good book shops.