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Eleven people board a private jet which crashes leaving only two survivors.

Eleven people board a private jet flying from Martha’s Vineyard to New York. When the plane crashes into the ocean only two survive.

Before the Fall book cover over private plane image

Before The Fall, Noah Hawley

Genre: General Fiction

Award: Edgar Award Winner

Published 2016, 401 pages

On a private jet flying to New York, Scott, a down-on-his-luck painter and JJ, the 4-year-old son of a billionaire survive a plane crash. Scott rescues the crying JJ from the water carrying him on his back as he swims for hours to land. Hailed a hero by most, Scott tries to adjust to the media attention.

The crash opens the story and the rest of the book focuses on the aftermath and a look at each of the passengers aboard the plane. There is also quite a bit of coverage about the investigation into the crash, the search for survivors, and the ins and outs of these procedures, which held my interest.

There are some pretty unpleasant characters in this book, including Ben Kipling who’s obsessed with money and is being investigated for business wrong-doings, Bill Cunningham an obnoxious news anchor that questions and skews the news to his own purpose, and Doug (a greedy jerk), the husband of Eleanor who is the aunt of JJ and who takes the boy in after his parents and sister die in the crash.

There are a couple interesting chapters on the fitness guru Jack LaLanne who was Scott’s boyhood idol and who motivated Scott to learn to swim. The least interesting person and storyline for me was Ben Kipling and his business dealings. And, I wish there had been more interaction between Scott and JJ, which didn’t really happen until near the end of the book. Overall though I enjoyed the book and would recommend it.

#generalfiction #noahhawley #awardwinner #edgaraward #newyork #USA #3halfstars (click hashtag for similar books)

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