ARC Review: Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

Release Date: May 31, 2016
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Format: Kindle
Pages: 592 pages
Genre: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller
Buy: Kindle | Hardcover | Audio


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.


I wasn't drawn in by the cover of this book but the description peaked my interest enough for me to request it from netgalley before it was published, boy am I glad I did.  This book was great.  With chapters that alternate between the present and the backstories of the passengers and crew members you are taken on a harrowing adventure.  I found myself immersed in the lives of the passengers learning more about what made each of the tick and ultimately what led to Scott and JJ surviving.

While the government is trying to figure out what happened, one of the most popular talk show hosts goes on the air turning the grief of families and the tragedy experience by a young boy into entertainment.  He says that he is trying to get to the truth but the reality is that he is just trying to stir higher ratings.  What a sad but true commentary on US television.

Scott is an interesting character, he doesn't own a cell phone and knows how to avoid the press, is he hiding something or does he just want to stay out of the limelight? As information and events unfold and we try to piece together for ourselves what happened you start to form different scenarios that could have happened but the reality rings shockingly sad and true.  Wonderfully written, complex characters, fabulous plot. I loved this book.

Disclaimer: Book was received from the publisher through in exchange for an honest review.