Author: Noah Hawley
Published by: Grand Central
Publication Date: May 31, 2016
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.
I’ve been on a bit of a mystery kick lately, and Before the Fall did a great job fulfilling that craving.
We’re briefly introduced to the characters as they board a private plane, but soon everyone aboard is dead when the plane crashes in the ocean. Well, not everyone died. An artist named Scott and a little boy survived, and that’s where the mystery begins.
I love how the story unfolds. We get the present, following Scott and how he’s dealing with the aftermath. He’s a hero because he saved the boy’s life, but there are a lot of questions surrounding the reason he was even on the plane to begin with. All while the clock is ticking to find the plane wreckage and figure out what happened, we’re given insight to each person that was on the plane.
It’s kind of sad getting to know the characters in this way, knowing what would eventually happen to them. It’s important, though. Not only does it make them more real, with each little story, we see how it led up to their lives converging on that day. Was it something in one of their backgrounds that brought on the plane crash? Or was just an accident? It certainly brings up a lot of questions and suspicions. I had three or four theories going because there was plenty of shadiness going around. I love that it actually kept me guessing and not a hundred percent sure what the outcome would be.
Before the Fall did feel a little slow at times, but those parts had their purpose and made the overall journey even better. So, yeah, I really enjoyed it!