Despite the title of this post, I do NOT reveal any spoilers about the ending.
Fiction – Mystery / Thriller
Released January 5, 2016
Bottom Line: Read it.
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon
Source: Publisher (Hachette) via Edelweiss
After the Crash is a compelling and intricately spun thriller that hooked me from page one…despite the fact that I’m pretty burned out of twisty thrillers. I highly recommend you go in as blind as possible and it’s going on my Page Turners and Books for Guys lists.
On December 23, 1980, a plane crashed in the French Alps killing all its passengers and crew except a baby girl, whose survival sets off a war between two families, one rich and one poor.
Why I Read It
The Hachette rep sold me on this one at the BEA (Book Expo America) Speed Dating event and the fact that it was already a bestseller in Europe didn’t hurt.
What I Liked
- This book hooked me immediately. I thought I’d “take a peek” at the beginning before moving on to a shorter book, but I’d sped through 40 pages before I knew it. The plot twists come fast and furious, right from the beginning. So much so that, not too far in, I wondered where the story had left to go.
- The story is told through “real-time” action eighteen years after the crash interwoven with the journal of a private detective hired to investigate the case. The journal provides the background and lays out the available evidence in meticulous detail, while the “real-time” portions cover the reverberating impact of everything that’s happened over the previous eighteen years.
- The pacing is perfect and surprisingly avoids a lull in the entire 377 pages. The information is released in exquisitely timed increments and the answer to every question generates multiple new unknowns.
- On the surface, the overriding mystery seems maddeningly simple. How is it possible that these people can’t answer this question?! But, Bussi meticulously lays out every possible avenue and how each one really doesn’t answer the question…making me believe in something I doubted initially.
What I Didn’t Like
- I loved this book right up until the end. The ending felt a bit random and overly coincidental. I believe a perfect plot twist should be unexpected, but make complete sense only in hindsight. This ending felt arbitrary, even in hindsight. But, the ending didn’t kill the book for me…I was engrossed virtually the entire way through, which outweighs my tail-end disappointment. I can’t say anymore about the ending here, but I’m planning a spoiler discussion post to talk more about it.
- The writing isn’t going to win any awards and the dialogue veered into cheesiness at times. But, you read this book for the compelling story…not the glittery writing.
- And, guess what?! The marketing teams have pitched this book as perfect for lovers of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train (cue image of me bashing my head into a wall). Honestly, I didn’t see either of those comparisons until after I’d finished the book and probably wouldn’t have read it had I known beforehand. After the Crash has its own identity and the comparison to the two “Girl” books should be ignored entirely.
A Defining Quote
It’s actually quite an agreeable feeling, Grand-Duc thought, to sit in judgment on the life and death of another: to protect only in order to condemn, to give hope in order to sacrifice. To play with fate, like a cunning, capricious god.
Good for People Who Like…
Page Turners, wealthy people behaving badly, investigative mysteries
Other Books You May Like
Another twisty page turner:
Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight