This is a mystery that doesn't feel formulaic at all. A young boy loses his family in an instant, and the way his own life is saved turns a struggling artist into a hero. Answers to why this happened are wrapped in a larger story about celebrity in the digital age and how news is often "made" now, rather than simply being reported. This book left me feeling intrigued even after it ended.— Georgeann
There is a trick being played on you by Noah Hawley. And I mean you, the reader. There is a twist, but it's abstract rather than functional. What is disguised as a thriller, and an effective one at that, Before the Fall is about obsession, privilege, and the dehumanizing effect of the 24 hour news cycle. Hawley takes his characters, all appearing in caricature at first, and slowly fleshes them out until each of them becomes believable and even relatable in their own way. Refreshingly, Hawley doesn't seem to believe in pure evil but instead he focuses on a yearning for something greater that drives his characters. It all adds up to something of a singular experience in the thriller genre: hope and rebirth and maybe even a crushing blow to cynicism.— Danny
June 2016 Indie Next List
“When a private plane plunges into the ocean off Martha's Vineyard, the media and the government want answers. The two survivors -- a middle-aged artist along for the ride and the 4-year-old son of a prominent and powerful family - have little to say. Before the Fall takes the reader on a thrilling ride through the past lives of the other passengers and the aftermath of the crash. As the deepest secrets of the wealthy and those who surround them surface, no one is safe. A brilliant and relentless thriller.”
— Geoffrey Jennings (M), Rainy Day Books, Fairway, KS
New York Times Bestseller
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.
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.