The Boy Who Fell out of the Sky by Ken Dornstein - review by Kathy Watson

Kathy Watson

Haunting the Past

The Boy Who Fell out of the Sky


Hodder & Stoughton 335pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

When David Dornstein boarded Pan Am Flight 103 from London to New York on 21 December 1988, he was supposed to be carrying the manuscript of his first novel. According to a newspaper report published shortly after a bomb sent the plane and all its passengers crashing into the Scottish town of Lockerbie, the novel was brilliant and eagerly awaited by a number of American publishers. Then it was lost, scattered, destroyed as thoroughly as 25-year-old David’s life.

The crash happened, David died, but was there ever a manuscript? It is for David’s younger brother, Ken, to find out. His attempts to piece together the life and writings of his older brother provide the narrative framework for this clear-eyed and painfully raw memoir.

Ken worked for a while as a private investigator, and in researching his brother’s death he is diligent and painstaking. He visits Lockerbie and interviews the policemen who were first on the scene. He has dinner with one and plays golf with others, on a course where many of the

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