After the Crash by Michel Bussi

On the night of 22nd 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... (from Goodreads). 

Thriller aren't usually my thing, but this one caught my attention when I was helping a friend shop for Christmas presents. It just jumped out at me as something I would really enjoy. 

This book has a very interesting concept, and the story moves back and forth between timelines. The story set in 1998 is the present day story, following the life of the young girl who survived and how her life has been shaped by what happened all those years ago. It also follows the investigation undertaken by Grand-Duc into discovering who the girl really was.

At first I struggled to get into it, I have to admit. Particularly with Grand-Duc's parts, things felt like they went on forever without getting anywhere. Grand-Duc as a character has a flare for the dramatic and suspense, and if I'd read more thrillers before perhaps I would have been more used to it. 

Marc Vitral is sort of the main character, as he is given Grand-Duc's journal and it kickstarts his journey into discovering whether or not the girl he has been brought up to believe is his sister really is. He is quite a likable character, but he's not the story. This story is all about Emilie. 

I enjoyed the ending. About halfway through I pretty much guessed how things would end, not all the details but the general gist of it all. It felt satisfactory for me, even though it did leave some questions open at the end. Mostly about the lives Marc and the others would now lead. But that's life, isn't it; we don't know how things are going to end up.

I may pick up more thrillers from now on, but YA fiction is still my cup of tea I think. Always good to try new things, though. 

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