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.
Sabrina-Kate - 5 Star
I had never read a novel by Noah Hawley before, but I have to say, I definitely will be again! An obvious talent, this book was no exception to that. Based on a tragic event and alternating between before and after and also different character's stories, this book had me hooked from the beginning. I absolutely loved how fast paced it was and it remained so throughout.
The main character, Scott, was an interesting guy and I really liked how realistic his life was portrayed. No rose colored glasses as far as his life was concerned! I also found the parallels between his own life and the tragedy to be subtle but very much there which helped tie it all together in a very pleasing way.
One of the main strengths of this book were the very unique stories each character had to tell and how they were woven together so adeptly while remaining so intrinsically original. It was also nice to get a bit of a background on each of the characters and to get to know them, so the stories they told were not just in the recent past before the event.
I cannot fathom having lived through such an event as the plane crash, which is the central focus of this book. Whether being like Scott or JJ and actually having been there, or being a loved one affected by the aftermath, this book made me ponder such things which are unfortunately not that uncommon in our day and age.
From a great beginning to an unexpected ending, Before the Fall was an absolute treat to read, drawing me in and kept me coming back for more. I can't wait to read something else by Noah and I will make sure that happens soon.
Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for our review copy. All opinions are our own.
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