Before the Fall
The left is the US cover and the right is the UK cover. Most of the time I prefer the UK cover to the US cover! That is the case with Before the Fall. It seems like I live in the wrong country when it comes to books!
Author: Noah Hawley
401 pages in Kindle
Published: May 31, 2016 (US) April 6, 2017 (UK)
Dates Read: March 27- April 13, 2017
My Rating: 4 Stars
Book Summary from Amazon
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.
Before the Fall focuses on a private plane crash. There were eleven individuals on what ended up being a very short flight of only 16 minutes. All but one person on the flight, Scott Burroughs, are wealthy or well known. Only Scott and JJ, a four year old boy, survive the crash.
Before the Fall has a very strong opening! I was pulled in immediately with the plane crash and Scott and JJ trying to survive in the ocean at night. It is very intense and I like Noah Hawley’s writing style. I felt like I could see everything happening as I read Before the Fall.
There are two splices of time in the novel: Before and after the crash. There are multiple points of view (POV) in the story. If you follow my reviews then you know I love books with multiple POVs! Scott is the main focus in the POVs after the crash, and with good reason. He survived and many agencies including the NTSB want to know what happened. I never wanted to stop reading when the novel focused on Scott. We see all the emotions and feelings Scott goes through, and all of his experiences with the media that a plane crash survivor may go through, both positive and negative.
You also get a feel of what the investigations are like for plane crashes. It seems like Noah Hawley did his homework. I felt I learned something reading Before the Fall.
In the flashbacks before the plane crash we get to know each of the passengers, pilot, copilot, and flight attendant that did not survive. These were interesting as well and all are important as it all comes together for us to discover the cause of the crash. I found myself still interested in these stories, but not as intensely interested as I was in Scott and JJ’s stories after the crash.
What kept me from giving Before the Fall five stars is the ending. Yes, we find out the cause of the crash, but after all the buildup the ending was anticlimactic and not satisfying for me. With everything suspected throughout the novel, I was expecting something more than what we got which was a simple yet unexpected cause. I wish I could say more, but that would involve spoiling the ending.
Despite my disappointment in the ending, Before the Fall is recommended.
**Before the Fall had been on my TBR pile for a while and I happened across it on NetGalley as a ‘Read Now’. It said preferred for UK readers as it is a new release in the UK, but NetGalley still let me read it. Thank you for my copy NetGalley!