Review – Before the Fall by Noah Hawley


Before the Fall

by Noah Hawley

Summary: 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.

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Source: I received a digital copy from NetGalley.


Before the Fall was the story about a private plane crashing, leaving 2 survivors. Scott, a painter who was randomly invited to ride on the plane by one of the passengers, and her son, were the only survivors. Scott’s strong swimming ability was what ultimately saved them.

When he got to shore, his life was turned upside down. The media created a pretty big controversy, especially since the cause of the crash was not quite known and police were investigating. One of the passengers happened to own the type of news network that was super good at spinning anything into an agenda, so things did not bode so well for Scott.

Scott attempted to hide from the media and not go home immediately, but everything he did was given a sinister spin, so his attempts to stay out of the spotlight only made him look more guilty of something.

The book went from past to present and highlighted the lives of those who were on board the private plane, as well as showing the reader Scott, the boy, the boy’s aunt, and the various characters in the present trying to piece together what happened.

I enjoyed the plot and the overall point of the book, but it was a bit boring and felt a little dull in some areas. I didn’t feel the suspense, nor would I consider it a thriller. I also felt like there were some plot holes with Scott’s memory, which could just be due to placement errors with the interview. I’m not sure.

I would recommend the book to people looking for a thought provoking book, but I don’t think it’s the next summer blockbuster novel as it just doesn’t have the attention grabbing pace that I expected.

Star 2


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