Before the Fallby Noah Hawley

Published May 31st 2016 by Grand Central Publishing

3.5 Stars

SynopsisOn a foggy summer night, eleven people–ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter–depart Martha’s Vineyard headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the passengers disappear 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 a wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family.

With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the tragedy 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 crash heightens. As the passengers’ intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy: Was it merely 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–all while the reader draws closer and closer to uncovering the truth.

The fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.

My Review: I had mixed feelings about this book. There were parts that seemed to drag and then I would get pulled right back into the story. I definitely liked it, but not sure if I really liked it, so it is a 3.5 stars for me.

Eleven people from various walks of life are all on a private jet plane when it crashes into the ocean travelling between Martha’s Vineyard and New York. The flight crew of 3, 2 very wealthy men and their spouses, 2 children, a bodyguard and a recovering alcoholic artist are all aboard when the plane ends up in the ocean only minutes after takeoff. Two unexpected survivors manage to swim to shore in the middle of the night, in the fog and the rough ocean waters. Scott Burroughs, representative of everyman swims to shore with a dislocated shoulder carrying a four year old boy on his back. He becomes an instant hero. When he does not want to appear for interviews, the media takes a turn for the worse.

This book is not about the crash of the plane, it is about the lives of the people aboard the plane leading up to the crash and the life after for the two survivors. Yes, there is an investigation, yes there is a race to recover the “black box” and cockpit voice recorder, but that is not the story being told here. This book is about how life can mold and change you affecting the decisions you make in later life. It is about reaping what you sow, it is about the goodness and honesty of man and how the media can twist all of the above. The character of the television personality was one that I loved to hate. He had his own agenda and twisted everything to that end. Illegal telephone tapping was ignored for the bottom line. The relationships between the passengers was not developed, but their relationships in their lives and how they brought them to this point were explained. The chapters were split between the past and the present. It was easy enough to follow once I got into the story. I liked it, but would have liked it to have gone on longer to show what happens between Scott and the boy. Do they have a relationship in the future? What happens to him and his aunt? A satisfactory read but not one that I loved.