After The Crash is a phenomenal novel. In fact I have gone so far as to say it is the best crime novel I have read this year so far and my goodness it is going to take a lot to beat.
I already have an all-encompassing love for anything remotely crime-y/thriller-y so this book ticked a few boxes before I even started reading. I have never read anything written by a French crime author before so this was a step into slightly unknown territory but if this is the standard of their novels then please sir, can I have some more?!
Set in France in the 1980’s, After The Crash tells the story of a horrific plane crash which kills all but one passenger; a small baby girl who seems to have miraculously survived the crash that claimed the lives of all other passengers including her parents. Keen to reunite her with any surviving relatives, the baby is kept in hospital whilst the police attempt to track her family down. When her grandparents are found, they waste no time in turning up to see their granddaughter who now is their sole responsibility. However, it is only minutes before the doctor overseeing the baby gets a call from a gentleman claiming to be the child’s grandfather.
And this is where the story begins…
It turns out that there were two babies on board the plane and only one survived but which baby was it? The baby that belongs to the De’Carville’s who are rich beyond their wildest dreams and can give the baby everything she needs? Or is she the Vitral’s baby, the family who don’t have much money to their name but love the baby with all their heart?
The De’Carville’s hire Grand-Duc who is a private investigator to find out all he can to determine which family the baby belongs to and without the invention of the DNA test, he has to use traditional means to track down clues to help determine the baby’s true family.
What follows is a story involving deception, bribery, love, heartbreak, death, mystery and everything in between.
I absolutely adored this book and found it hard to put down. It’s one of those books that even when I wasn’t reading it; it was still in the back of my mind. What I loved most about this book however was the unpredictable plot. I like to pride myself on being able to second guess many crime plots but this one had me desperately turning the pages to piece all the small clues together and, even when I thought I knew what was about to happen, I was thrown a curveball and was back to square one!
Another feature I adored was the timescale of this plot. It takes place over such a short number of days, yet with flashbacks to the past it felt like it went on for years but without the associated boredom of having to relieve years and years of events back to back. We seamlessly switch between present and past through the aide of Grand-Duc’s notebook which is used to tell the main story and the characters of the present using it to solve problems in their lives.
I can’t bear to say much more through fear of giving too much away and ruining what is a truly incredible novel. All I can say is: READ IT. I guarantee you won’t regret it.
A brilliantly imagined novel combining a cast of eclectic characters with a heart-breaking plot which leaves you hanging on every tantalising word as you race to the final conclusion which will leave you open mouthed and desperate for more.