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Tuesday, 12 January 2016

‘After the Crash’ by Michel Bussi

Published by Weidenfield and Nicholson,
27 August 2015.
ISBN 978 -1-7802-2732-0

On December 23rd 1980 a plane flying from Istanbul to Paris crashes in the Jura Mountains on the Franco-Swiss border.  One hundred and sixty eight people are killed, but one three month old baby girl survives the crash and the freezing conditions.  There were, however, two three month old baby girls, Lyse-Rose and Emilie, on the plane.  Which one survived?

The baby is immediately claimed by two sets of grandparents: one rich and powerful and the other poor, but politically aware.  There is no conclusive evidence to indicate which family has the rightful claim to the baby.  But, on the limited information available, the courts decide to award her to one set of grandparents who then assume sole responsibility for the upbringing of Lylie – a hybrid name derived from Lyse-Rose and Emilie.

The story of the next 18 years, and the search for the truth about Lylie’s identity is recounted partly through the diary of an ex-mercenary, private detective who goes by the extraordinary name of Credule Grand-Duc, and partly through glimpses of Lylie’s life and that of her given family.

The detective has been commissioned by one of the grandmothers to discover the truth about the baby’s parentage regardless of what it might be, and he goes to great lengths to do so.

The story unfolds slowly. It contains several violent deaths and some surprising twists and turns, but it is difficult to give any detailed description of events without spoiling the plot for readers.  Suffice to say that After the Crash is a completely compulsive read. There is no way you could put this book aside until Lylie’s true identity is revealed. This is a highly original, well-crafted mystery that will keep you puzzling to the end.
Reviewer Angela Crowther

Michel Bussi  was born 29 April 1965 in Louviers France. He is a French writer of detective novels, and a political analyst and Professor of Geography at the University of Rouen, where he leads a Public Scientific and Technical Research Establishment.
After the Crash is his first book to be published in the UK.


Angela Crowther is a retired scientist.  She has published many scientific papers but, as yet, no crime fiction.  In her spare time Angela belongs to a Handbell Ringing group, goes country dancing and enjoys listening to music, particularly the operas of Verdi and Wagner.

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