Review: BEFORE THE FALL by Noah HawleyBefore the Fall by Noah Hawley
Published by Grand Central Publishing on May 31st 2016
Pages: 400
Genres: Fiction, Literary, Thrillers, Suspense
eARC provided by Grand Central Publishing

AmazonBook Depository

From the Emmy, PEN, Peabody, Critics' Choice, and Golden Globe Award-winning creator of the TV show Fargo comes the thriller of the year.

On a foggy summer night, eleven people--ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter--depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs--the painter--and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family.

With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members--including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot--the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens. As the passengers' intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy. Was it merely by dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations. And while Scott struggles to cope with fame that borders on notoriety, the authorities scramble to salvage the truth from the wreckage.

Amid pulse-quickening suspense, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.

Reading time 4 mins

Oh how I enjoyed this story! It is about a guy who survives a private plane crash, but it is also so much more. It is about how a little things can mean so much. Scott Burrough is a painter, and the only adult to survive the crash. Two children also go down in the plane, one survives because Scott pulled him to shore. So these two survivors become the subject of much scrutiny. Mostly because Scott is a broke painter, and everyone on the plane had money. The story flips from Scott after the crash, to Scott years earlier as a child watching Jack LaLanne pull a boat in San Fransisco’s frigid waters. The story also includes the before for the other nine people who died in the crash.

Okay, so for me this book shed a light on motivation. Just as Jack LaLanne had so much influence on a young Scott, so do so many other minute details everyday motivate us to do this or that. There is much dissection and backstory without actually asking any questions. The stories lays out the facts and leaves the reader to interpret.

Scott is a brilliant character. He isn’t perfect. In fact he is a recovered alcoholic with some issues getting his life started. He finds himself at the right place at the right time to get a chartered flight back to the city, unfortunately the plane crashes and he is left with a lot of PTSD. The media sets everyone up to start thinking Scott knows more than he is saying. This was very much a character driven novel.

The biggest intrigue for me was not even the mystery of what happened in this crash. The plane went down, Scott didn’t do anything to cause it, of that I was sure. The biggest pull for me was to see how Scott gets his life back. How does someone move away from being a reluctant hero in the spotlight, to someone who functions well in society? There is also the matter of this boy he saved. A four year old boy who won’t talk to anyone but Scott now. The boy stands to inherit millions from his now dead parents. Anytime there is that much money involved, there is bound to be scandal, especially according to the press.

Behind Scott’s story is the question of integrity in journalism. Almost as if the writer struggled with scrutiny from the press, this was an accurate portrayal of an innocent man guilty by media. The author does a brilliant job of setting Scott up to be the bad guy, the shady character according to big media. Scott struggles with coming to grips with what he knows verses what can be inferred. Just as Scott idolized Jack LaLanne, so too will people think what they want of Scott without actually knowing him.

This story is so engaging and entertaining. It is something I read in one sitting. It left me feeling satisfied about life. It just goes on, no matter what, (well… for some of us anyways). I highly recommend this book to fans of well drawn characters in mystery/suspense books. It is one of the best books I have read so far this year.

My Rating


Check out the trailer for Before the Fall

About Noah Hawley

381355Noah Hawley is an Emmy, Golden Globe, PEN, Critics' Choice, and Peabody Award-winning author, screenwriter, and producer. He has published four novels and penned the script for the feature film Lies and Alibis. He created, executive produced, and served as showrunner for ABC's My Generation and The Unusuals and was a writer and producer on the hit series Bones. Hawley is currently executive producer, writer, and showrunner on FX's award-winning series, Fargo.

I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.

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