On the night of 22 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...
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In the winter of 1980, a plane crashed killing everyone on board except a three month old baby. Two families, pole opposite of each other, come forward to claim the baby. Their claims lead Credule Grand-Duc to an investigation that lasted for eighteen years. The detective plans to hand over his work to the surviving girl and then kill himself. At the last moment he discovers the last missing piece of the puzzle that uncovers the girl’s real identity only to end up murdered. Is Lyse-Rose de Carville who she thinks she is or is she really Emilie Vitral? What is it that Credule discovered that lead to his murder? And what is the mystery behind this whole thing?
At a time when DNA testing was not available for immediate resolution of an identity, this case makes for a mysterious and interesting situation. The premise of the story certainly attracted my attention and it had a hold on me throughout the book. My need to know what exactly happened kept me turning the pages right till the end. Except for one matter, which I won’t mention here as it would be a big spoiler, the plot was well brewed. It allowed for some action, a lot of drama and quite a few unexpected twists that keep a reader engaged. The pace of the book seemed to lag a bit in the middle where I felt that the drama was overdone, but as I finished the book, I realized that it was actually required to make the book what it has turned out to be. There are a whole bunch of characters in the book. I couldn’t really connect with the protagonist as her voice felt a bit weak. But I rather liked the PI Credule – whose voice comes across as strong and dependable through his diary.
This book has some great moments and some not so great moments. But to round up, it was overall an interesting read.
Review Copy received from Hachette India