Lylie Vitral, the Miracle Baby who survived a plane crash in 1980
Mark Vitral, her older brother who does not believe she is really his sister
Mathilde de Carville, the matron of a wealthy family whose grand daughter was also on the plane
Malvina de Carville, the older sister of the baby killed in the crash
Credule Grand Duc, a detective hired by Mathilde to find out the truth about the crash.
This is a remarkable story about the aftermath of a plane crash which occurred just before Christmas, 1980. Everyone on board was killed when the plane travelling from Istanbul to Paris crashed into Mont Terri, except for one baby girl. Miraculously, this baby was thrown far enough away from the crash to avoid the fire but was near enough to be warmed by it until rescuers reached the crash site. However, there were two baby girls on that flight, born within two days of each other. Since both sets of parents were dead no one knew for sure whose child she was. The two families involved, one extremely wealthy and the other of modest means, both claimed that the grandchild was theirs. A judge made the final decision, giving the child, Lylie, to the Vitral family based on the clothes she was wearing and the absence of a gold bracelet which should’ve been on the wrist of the wealthy family’s granddaughter. When we arrive on the scene Lylie has just turned eighteen and has come into a sizable amount of money put aside in a bank account by Mathilde de Carville, just in case the judge had been wrong and the girl really was her grand daughter. Mathilde had also hired a detective, Credule Grand Duc, who has been investigating the case for eighteen years, following every lead, looking into every possible clue to prove once and for all whose child Lylie really is. But he has not been able to discover the truth until the night before Lylie’s eighteenth birthday. He calls Mathilde to tell her he has found the answer but needs a couple of days to make sure, and then disappears. He has given Lylie a notebook with all of the information he has dug up through the years, and after reading it herself she gives the notebook to her brother, Marc to read. Then she too disappears. Marc is worried about Lylie and in trying to track her down goes first to Credule’s house and then to the de Carville’s mansion, reading the detective’s notebook while riding the train to his destinations. Malvina, who is now almost certifiably crazy, keeps a Mauzer in her purse and isn’t afraid to use it, tries to get the notebook from Marc, pretending to aid him in his quest to find Lylie. Marc is afraid that his sister is about to do something drastic, even commit suicide. He feels he is racing against time, reading the notebook for any clues it can give, travelling across France to find her.
A very intriguing book, After the Crash keeps the pieces of the puzzle quietly snapping into place with each chapter. I won’t spoil the ending!