Thriller Thursday: in the chaos of the H7N9 virus

Take a deep breath, dive into this book like a snorkel and let yourself sink deep into the abyss of the human soul. Reading One of yours is beautiful but difficult because it refers to a world that could come, a world that is already smoldering, devastated by the consequences of climate change, epidemics and violence. The current world pushed to its climax.

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We are in France, between the Marne and the Isère, but we could as well be in the United States or in Russia. The H7N9 virus is wreaking havoc. “Authorities said it had hatched on the banks of the Ganges, south of Calcutta. On his way, he had mown millions of them. And basically it had arranged everyone. There was so little left to live on. ” The planet is nothing more than an earth’s crust swept by an icy wind which freezes everything in its path, there are no more rules, no more society, hordes of men reduced to the state of wild beasts destroy what little remains to be destroyed. Despite the risk of beating in order, Marie-Jean takes the road. He wants to find his older brother, Timothy, who disappeared one fine morning to the great despair of their parents, of whom he was the favorite. “So he remembers the first few weeks after Timothy’s departure. It’s like he’s dead. The house emptied of its substance. Hope left them. He sees his parents avoiding each other. Unable to exchange a word, a look. As if each had become the remorse of the other. Proof that there had been a different life before. Maybe happiness. And this happiness had a first name, which was not his. His brother’s name, a hot iron. “


The father and then the mother eventually died, swept away by disease and chaos, and Marie-Jean drowned her son to save him a life of suffering. He has nothing more to lose. When a group of men hits him until he leaves him almost dead in the blizzard, he thinks he’s finally done with this life that is no longer one. But a woman will help him. Anna has lost the one she loved to the blows of wild beasts, she couldn’t do anything, so she’s going to rescue that man, help him find Timothy. They’ll hit the road in a stolen car, cross battlefields and maybe find some love along the way. This novel by Thomas Sands is terribly dark and all the more fascinating and frightening because it is perhaps premonitory.

One of yours, Thomas Sands, Equinox (Les Arènes), 304 pp, 15 euros

Alexandra Schwartzbrod


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