Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Book Review - After The Crash

After The Crash falls under the 'unputdownable' category. For someone who is not very fond of non-fiction, I finished the book, reading intermittently in three days. It was owing to the suspense and how Michel Bussi, the author has hung it throughout. Comparing him to Steig Larsson is surely not an exaggeration. 

The story line is simple. A plane travelling from Istanbul to Paris crashes. All passengers are killed except for a three month old baby. Two families, one filthy rich, another modest claim that the girl is their grand daughter. The case is heard by a judge who awards the child's custody to the fisherman family who lived away from Paris by the seaside. 

However the investigation is then handed over to a private detective Credule Grand-Duc, who has 18 years (the crash happened in 1980) to prove whether the girl is Lyse-Rose or Emilie, The 100 page summary of the detective forms the bulk of the novel. As the mystery deepens regarding the identity we see family members, particularly two grandmothers in both families, Marc the love interest of the girl in question and others come into picture,

There in the pages of Grand Duc's diary is explained how all modes of investigation including DNA analysis was carried, how the clues linked, how new characters came into picture to contribute to the search yet in the end was left inconclusive, Meanwhile murders occurred, doubts on a relation which could be termed incestuous if the identity of the girl was to be Emilie, and a lot of past (and earth from crash site) is dug up.

Michel Bussi has been a master storyteller with no loose ends in the novel. He has tied the ends well. An important aspect is that minimum characters in the story make for a convenient read. Each chapter only increases the curiosity. The novel set in Paris largely, focuses on the plot and does to digress too much into background.

Readers of suspense and thrillers will perhaps feel that while a few sub plots are predictable, the timely injunction of new characters and sub plots albeit not hinging on the main plot keeps the suspense going stronger. At one point one might feel that the novel is written for a movie, or rather the narration brings visuals easily. And such is the power of the book,

While there often is a risk in such books to have an ending that is outlandish or so disconnected that the reader gets put off, After The Crash has successfully avoided such a scenario. In the revealing of the identity of the girl, dots created earlier in the book has been connected, and connected well.

Do read the book. It is paced ideally and the plot is clutter free. I would recommend it.


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