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The Anomaly

Herve le Tellier

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Book starts by introducing 12 sets of characters, who are passengers on an Air France Boeing 787 flying Paris to NY, which hits a violent thunderstorm. First is Blake, an assasin. Victor is an unsuccesful writer and translator. The near death experience prompts him to write a book called The anomaly, and then commit suicide. Post mortem, the book becomes a best seller. Lucie is a film editor who is disentangling herself from architect partner. After the terrifying flight, she dumps him. David is the pilot of the flight. After the flight he finds he has inoperable, fast-acting cancer. He will be dead in 3 months. Next is a mother and her 2 children, incl 6yo Sophia.Joanna is a young, up-and-coming lawyer who is black. Slimboy is a Nigerian hip-hop star. The flight stimulates him to write an Afropop song which becomes a crossover hit. The last two characters are Adrian and Meredith, a couple of nerdish wonks who once had to write a "What if" manual for the FBI/CIA.

Once all characters, get to the actual plot. The plane that lands isan exact duplicate of one which landed 100 days earlier. Same plane, same damage from the storm, same pilot and crew, same passengers. They think it is 10 March.

A Dream team of scientists and philosophers is quickly assembled to try and explain this. They come up with a variety of hypotheses, but the most likely conclusion is that (a) we are living in a simulaion, and (b) this is a test.

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All the passengers from the march flight are collected and brought to the air force base where the June flight people are being held. So the next part of the story is how the two duplicates deal with each other. We already know that Blake, the assassin, has escaped from the base, flown back to France and murdered his March dupe. The two Sophies reveal that their dad is a pervert. Slimboy and his dupe come up with a scheme to 'find' his long-lost identical twin and become a duo.

David, the pilot, gets to the hospital where his dupe is on verge of death. His wife has enormous trouble trying o cope with sudden appearance of a healthy 'husband' while she's still grieving. But gets worse when they realize that June David has same med problem, and she will have to go through the whole thing a second time.

The two Lucies go to war bc they have a son they both adore, and do not want to share. In the end, the son comes up with a resolution to the dilemma (he will throw a dice each week to determine which mother he will spend each day with).

Victor is now dealing with the fame from 'his' best selling book, which he has no recollection of writing. One pair of young teen girls is assassinated by a religious nut.

The final act of the story is a short chapter where a third Air France Flight 006 with the same Capt Markle atthe controls, has popped into existence over the Atlantic and the Pres orders it shot down. "We really can't keep letting this same plane land."

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