Before the Fall (Hardcover)

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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


Winner of the 2017 EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL and the 2017 INTERNATIONAL THRILLER WRITERS AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL FROM THE AWARD-WINNING CREATOR OF FARGO COMES "ONE THE YEAR'S BEST SUSPENSE NOVELS" (NEW YORK TIMES). 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 the painter Scott Burroughs and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family.

Was it by chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something more sinister at work? A storm of media attention brings Scott fame that quickly morphs into notoriety and accusations, and he scrambles to salvage truth from the wreckage. Amid trauma and chaos, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy grows and glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, morality, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.

Kristin Hannah raves, "Noah Hawley really knows how to keep a reader turning the pages... a complex, compulsively readable thrill ride of a novel."

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, award-winning series, Fargo, and Legion from FX Productions and Marvel Television.

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9781455561780
ISBN-10: 1455561789
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: May 31st, 2016
Pages: 400
Language: English

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