After the Crash by Michel Bussi

After the Crash is a mystery/thriller set around the events following a plane crash. After the Crash by Michel BussiAll the passengers have been killed apart from a three-month-old baby girl. BUT there were two babies on the plane and relatives from both families step forward to claim her. It is 1980 and therefore DNA can’t be used to prove the identity of the child.

The book is the story of the private detective hired by the richer of the two families to prove the identity of the baby.

I read the book with my ‘author’ hat on and tried to judge why it was a bestseller. The following points grabbed me:

  • The reader is sucked straight into the mystery. I turned the pages because I wanted to know who the baby belonged to – this is the benefit of setting up a clear dilemma at the beginning of the book to grab the reader.
  • The action is fast moving. It takes place over a couple days following the baby’s 18th birthday but is interspersed with extracts from the private detective’s notebook. The present day ‘urgent’ action is mixed with slower, long term events from the past.
  • It appeals to both sexes (my husband passed it on to me). It’s written from a male point of view but there’s a hint of romance in there.

The title of the book, After the Crash, is very explanatory but I did wonder why the publisher had decided not to go along with the current trend of using the word ‘Girl’ – think of Gone Girl, Girl on the Train, Girl Number One (an indie published bestseller) etc. ‘Girl with no Name’ would have been a very appropriate title.

Has anybody else read this book? What did you think?

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  1. #1 by juliathorley on February 16, 2016 - 12:18 pm

    I haven’t come across this book, but I like the sound of it – but only because of your summary. The title’s rubbish! Maybe they didn’t go for the ‘girl’ angle because it’s already been done. It’s a thin line between trend and bandwagon. (I’ve just read ‘Gone Girl’, which I loved, though I gather the film’s a bit meh.)

    • #2 by Sally Jenkins on February 16, 2016 - 1:06 pm

      Maybe you’re right about trend and bandwagon, Julia. Haven’t seen the Gone Girl film but often find films don’t live up to the book (maybe because you already know the ending?

  2. #3 by Jan FitzGerald on February 16, 2016 - 11:31 pm

    I may be old-fashioned but I expect originality from a writer rather than going with a trend. Okay, it may not be the most interesting of titles but at least it’s his, not a copycat or one to be confused with another author.

    • #4 by Sally Jenkins on February 17, 2016 - 6:46 pm

      No, you’re not old-fashioned, Jan. Originality is good. I was thinking that it might be easier to make a book visible on Amazon if it has a title similar to others – but that’s probably not an issue for such a best-selling author anyway.

  3. #5 by blogaboutwriting on February 17, 2016 - 6:52 pm

    I haven’t heard of it, or (obviously!) read it, Sally but it sounds good. Thanks for bringing it to our attention! Will add it to my wishlist..!

  4. #7 by Susan A Eames on February 20, 2016 - 10:29 pm

    I haven’t read this one – but I do think the title is a little dull, so good to hear your thoughts and if I come across it, I’ll read it.

  5. #8 by Joanna Bucktrout on February 22, 2016 - 12:44 pm

    Sounds like a cracking plot, Sally, I’ll look out for it. Re ‘The Girl …’ titles, have read Gone Girl and Girl on a Train, enjoyed both, also The Girl with all the Gifts a (slightly) futuristic post apocalyptic type novel, also very good. But I think enough is now enough.

    • #9 by Sally Jenkins on February 26, 2016 - 5:24 pm

      I haven’t read ‘The Girl with all the Gifts’, Joanna – another one for the TBR list!

  6. #10 by Steve Wand on February 23, 2016 - 3:31 pm

    An intriguing plot-line. I shall have to add this to my reading list. And yes, I share your view re the title. Perhaps it was his ‘working title’. We can sometimes become so comfortable with the initial handle we give our work that we fail to consider possible improvements once we’ve written ‘The End’.

    • #11 by Sally Jenkins on February 26, 2016 - 5:25 pm

      Good point about the working title, Steve – it’s a very hard thing to get right.

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