New in June, I couldn't put this book down. And then, compulsively, paged backwards to find any hints on who-did- it. Yep, it was that good. The author is well known for crafting great story lines as a screenwriter and producer for TV and film (Bones, Fargo, etc). But he's also written three other books including 2012's The Good Father.
The book opens with two families preparing for a short flight on a private jet from their summer homes on Martha's Vineyard to New York. The passengers also include a late arrival, Scott Burroughs - a 40- something struggling artist on the cusp of success; the flight crew and a bodyguard. Sixteen minutes into the foggy evening flight, the plane goes down in the Atlantic. Scott rescues the only remaining survivor, four-year- old JJ Bateman, by swimming to the mainland and a hero is born.
The rest of the novel delves into each of the characters' back-stories while recovery of the wreckage and the FAA investigation progress. Because no communications were made to indicate pilot or mechanical distress, the plunge into the ocean is deemed suspicious. Suspects and theories abound, fueled by a popular reporter on an All-News TV station owned by David Bateman, who went down in the plane, and whose son, JJ, is a survivor.
As Scott copes with physical and emotional trauma, his bond with JJ grows in the hospital. His concerns grow as JJ is shuffled to his closest living relative - an aunt and her husband, who will enormously profit from her nephew's trust fund. As JJ quits speaking, Scott goes into hiding with the press hounding the newly deemed hero - both survivors metaphorically going radio-silent.
The format and taut writing drive the pace of the story to it's conclusion, but the emotion is so well-written into the characters that it made me hope that it wouldn't end. A terrific summer read!
— Karen McCue
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.