Review & Giveaway - Before the Fall by Noah Hawley @noahhawley @GrandCentralPub

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: May 31, 2016
Date Read: May 23, 2016
Source: NetGalley

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.

My Review

This one was good.  I was really never quite sure where the story was going and that uncertainty really kept me turning the pages.  This book is told from a lot of different perspectives with each piece adding an element to the story.  I liked how the layers of the story were peeled back just a little at a time making the true story a bit clearer.  I was thoroughly entertained by this story.

The first parts of this book were superbly done.  A plane crashes off the coast of Martha's Vineyard and the guest on the plane, a painter, survives only to be very disoriented.  He finds another survivor, a small child, that he knows he must help to safety.  The only problem is that they are miles from shore and Scott, the painter, has injured his shoulder in the crash.  I felt like I was right there with the pair they made their way to safety.

There were a total of 11 people on board the plane at the time of the crash.  There were the two survivors along with the young boy's parents and sister that owned the plane and their bodyguard.  They had also invited their friends, an investment professional and his wife.  There were also three people working on the plane: the pilot, co-pilot, and flight attendant.  Each of these characters had incredible back stories that really made them feel realistic.

Some of the characters that play important roles after the crash made me want to cringe.  The news anchor was a real piece of work and I really wanted someone to just make him stop. He may have been over the top but I think he was also quite realistic based on some of the things that I have seen in the media.  The young boy's uncle was equally horrible but again he felt authentic to me.  I did like the boy's aunt and felt like she was one of the most sane characters in the story.

This was a book that really kept me guessing.  Just when I thought I knew what had caused the crash, I would start to doubt myself.  I found myself continually needing to read just one more chapter to see what was going to happen next...and we all know how that goes.  I can honestly say that the ending of the book was really unexpected until I got pretty close to the end.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of mystery thrillers.  This is the first book by Noah Hawley that I have had a chance to read but I plan to look for others in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Grand Central Publishing via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.

About the Author

Noah Hawley is an Emmy, Golden Globe, PEN, Critics' Choice, and Peabody Award-winning author, screenwriter, and producer. He has published four novels and penned the script for the feature film Lies and Alibis. He created, executive produced, and served as showrunner for ABC's My Generation and The Unusuals and was a writer and producer on the hit series Bones. Hawley is currently executive producer, writer, and showrunner on FX's award-winning series, Fargo.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


  1. I just heard an interview with the author - who also does Fargo the tv series - on the radio. This one hadn't been on my radar before that but now with your review too I really want to read it! Great review!!

  2. That's an interesting set up for the mystery. And I like that it was complex and kept you guessing.

  3. I read Hawleys "The Good Father" and loved it. I'll definitely have to read "Before the Fall." Excellent review!


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