A riveting story moving over two generations with all the twists and turns needed to make it a completely mesmerizing read.
A night flight from Istanbul bound for Paris with 169 passengers aboard crashes in the Swiss Alps. There is only one survivor. Miraculously, a three month old girl is tossed out of the plane, before flames engulf it and is picked up and cared for by the first responders to the crash scene. But wait, there were two little girls on the plane and since the action begins before the science of DNA testing comes into use, there is no certain way that the girl can be identified. The two families whose girls were aboard claim the child. One is very well off and the other poor.
A judge must decide who the child belongs to, and after much deliberation awards the girl to one of the families. The family that is awarded custody also has two other children, a boy and another girl. Both families continue trying to ascertain who the girl belongs to, the wealthier one engages a private detective and places him on a yearly retainer set up to last eighteen years. Over time complications arise when the girl, and her now brother, discover that they are in love. They dream of marriage in the face of the possibility that they are brother and sister, although their feelings are strong, in truth they are not blood relatives.
The detective continues his search for the answer about whose child it really is, and when it comes into practice gets DNA samples in for testing. Twists and turns are replete in the novel including criminal activity including murder. The answer involves a logical situation not telegraphed in the book. It is a great read and a worthy introduction to a major European writer.
1/16 Paul Lane
AFTER THE CRASH by Michel Bussi. Hachette Books; 1 edition (January 5, 2016). ISBN 978-0316309677. 384p.