Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

 
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 Synopsis

A Private Jet plunges into the sea with only two survivors: the young son of the family, J J Bateman, who chartered the plane….and a man who only chances to be on board at all, down on his luck artist Scott Burroughs, the hero who saved the boys life.  But is he a hero or a villain.  Why was he on the plane in the first place. and why did the plane crash?

 

Review

I’ve never read any of Noah Hawley’s books before, but based on this novel, I will be buying many more in the future. In short. I loved it.
It’s not often that a book absolutely grips me from the start and in fact in some places made me breathless with the pace of the story and the surprises coming along the way.
The style is similar to a Law and Order TV series type approach, of vignettes of seemingly unrelated scenes, with small pieces of crucial information that appear random at first, but knit together to become a fantastic story. I, in fact, imagined a lot of them in black and white.

The writing style is easy to read, though I did need to go back a couple of times in the initial chapters to get the hang of things.  Hawley is a very talented writer, describing the environment and scenery in such a way as to make you believe you are actually there with him. I especially enjoyed the portrayal of Scott Burroughs past and childhood with very evocative descriptions of his family and the seminal moment of his youth.

His characterisation of Scott, JJ and Eleanor is sympathetic but interesting and leaves you guessing until very near the end as to what the truth might be. I found the scenes with little JJ incredibly moving. I really liked Scott and Eleanor, both as people, and they way in which they interact in such devastating circumstances.

The descriptions at the start of the book of the victims and their lives was a really imaginative way to give us key information without belabouring the point.
I liked their characters, and found the relationship between, Maggie and David interesting and would have liked to know more which for me is always a good sign, whilst I really didn’t like Ben Kipling immediately and didn’t want to see him succeed in his schemes.

This novel is gripping, exciting, perplexing and fascinating and I can’t wait to read more.
I genuinely can’t recommend the book highly enough.

 

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Jules

Hi, I am an avid reader and have been all my life. I put it down to being an only child and having a teacher for a mum. The idea of this blog is to share my passion for reading and review new and upcoming books as well as those that may have been out for several years.
I also review on Twitter @Bookliterat

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