‘Before the Fall’ – Noah Hawley

A huge thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for allowing me to read this prior to publication.

‘Before the Fall’ was one of those books where I went into it expecting a thrill-a-minute style, with a big twist…what I got was so much more subtle, character-led and a lot more enjoyable than I was expecting.

The story opens with a private plane taking off. The people on board are a real mix of characters: entertainment mogul, David Bateman, his wife, Maggie, and their young children, alongside a failed painter, a Wall Street financier about to be investigated for money-laundering, his wife, the hired security and the crew responsible for the plane. Only eighteen minutes into the flight there is a crash and only two of this cast of characters survive.

I fully expected the story to focus on Maggie, but within a short space of time we are following Scott as he surfaces in the water and makes his desperate attempt to swim ashore, carrying the Bateman’s four year old son.

It’s hard to give my thoughts on this novel without giving spoilers. As we are teased with information we realise that many of these characters could have been the target of some form of attack. Alongside the attempts to investigate the crash we are subject to the media intervention, as they are so desperate to create their own heroes and villains. I really liked the fact that we are slowly given extra details and information that allow us to piece together what actually happened.

This was an intriguing thriller, but the focus on character was what really made it for me.