Book Review | After the Crash by Michel Bussi: Great Premise, Lackluster Execution

Title: After the Crash
Author: Michel Bussi
Genre: Literary – Mystery/Thriller/Suspense
Publisher: Hachette Books
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Pages: 384


A night flight from Istanbul bound for Paris, filled with 169 holiday travelers, plummets into the Swiss Alps. The sole survivor is a three-month-old girl–thrown from the plane onto the snowy mountainside before fire rages through the aircraft. But two infants were on board. Is the miracle baby Lyse-Rose or Emilie? Both families step forward to claim the child–one poor, one powerful, wealthy, and dangerous.

Filled with delicious twists and riveting psychological suspense, After the Crash is an electrifying story of a two-decade mystery, secret love, and murder–perfect for the readers who swarmed to Stieg Larsson, Gone Girl, and The Girl on the Train


The title is pretty much what it all boils down to. The premise is so unique and interesting. In a time before DNA testing is possible, how can you figure out someone’s identity? That line of thought really drew me to the book. Unfortunately, I feel like it could have been executed better.

Detective Crédule’s journals are used as a mechanism to give the backstory on both families, as well as share all the clues he has found over the 18 years he has been investigating. Personally, I felt like we spent too much time in his journals. I would have liked to see a more original way of sharing that information. The journals are probably at least 50% of the novel, if not more. While we are on the topic of his journals, they were written as if talking to the person he expected to be reading it, so there would be sentences in it like, “But you don’t care about that.” or “Don’t worry, I’m getting to that.” I found that really annoying because if you know I don’t care, then just get to the point! It felt slightly patronizing.

Another gripe I had with this book was that Lylie is supposed to be the center of this book. She is what the whole book is based around, but we hardly got any time with her at all. I felt like I didn’t get a chance to really know her which is a shame.

After the Crash - Michel Bussi

This book was originally in French and has been translated to English.  It’s always awesome to get more translated works. I found the writing to be pretty straightforward, nothing too fancy so it was easy to read. There were some clunky spots here and there, but that is to be expected, I think. As someone who is learning another language, I know some things simply don’t translate well.

When it comes to mystery books, I’m the type of person who doesn’t actively try to figure out the mystery as I’m reading. So if I figure it out then I know they dropped some heavy clues! There were some things that I predicted in After the Crash, but there were a couple twists I didn’t see coming at all. Overall, I must say I did find the big reveal to be a bit anticlimactic.

Despite all this, it was an addictive read. I needed to know definitively who Lylie was so I was picking up this book whenever I had a free moment. Would I recommend this? It depends. I think someone who doesn’t normally read mystery books would enjoy this a lot more than someone who reads mostly mystery. I didn’t love this book, but I definitely didn’t hate it either. So for that it gets…

3 Stars!

star-1   star-1    star-1

I received this book from Hachette Books in exchange for an honest review.


4 thoughts on “Book Review | After the Crash by Michel Bussi: Great Premise, Lackluster Execution

  1. I read mystery whenever the urge comes. I have to want to read it, or there’s a chance that I will not enjoy it. This being a translated novel, I think that I’d have to really think outside the box. What if a part that was so suspenseful in the other version didn’t seem as such with this one, you know? Lots of things get lost in translation nowadays. Especially, classic books. But, this one may be different, and I’d have to really be willing to read a mystery. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lately I’ve been in a very mystery/suspense/thriller kind of mood! Yeah, I know what you mean about things getting lost in translation. That’s the hard thing because you don’t know what to attribute to the author or what to attribute to the translation. It’s still interesting to see what is popular in other countries though! Apparently Michel Bussi is a very popular author over in France :)

      Liked by 1 person

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