Tracy Reviews: Before the Fall – Noah Hawley

Before the Fall“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.”

Given the number of holds and the unending amount of praise the book has received, (including 10 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list), Before the Fall might already be on your radar. The author of this book also happens to be the creator of the TV show Fargo (which I loved) (we have copies of both seasons on DVD), and the suspense and mystery that he so cleverly displays in that show is definitely evident in his writing and plot of this book.

While the plane crash is the focal point for which the story revolves around, and is the one event all of the main characters share, Hawley’s strength truly is on character development and relationships. The themes of money and privilege play a big part, but more importantly the book makes one think about tragic events and how they are reported by the media. It makes one question where the media gets their information and how it can alter the public’s perception of the truth.

The mystery of why the private plane crashes is woven throughout the 400 page book, and Hawley makes the reader wait for the answer until the end. However, it is worth the wait.

There is still a fairly long waitlist for the book, but we have Before the Fall available as an e-book through OverDrive, which might give you access to the book sooner.