Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
A plane goes down eighteen minutes into the flight from Martha’s Vineyard to Teterboro Airport. Eleven people were on board the plane but only two live: Scott, an artist who was a late addition to the passenger list, and a four year old boy who instantly becomes a multi-millionaire. Scott is hailed as a hero after swimming over ten miles to shore in darkness with a dislocated shoulder and the boy clinging to his back. Scott wants nothing to do with the media frenzy and hides out as the talking heads speculate about the crash, his life and his fellow passengers. Was it a coincidence that Scott, an artist who paints tragic accidents, survived? Did terrorism bring down the plane because of the two important men who were on board? Or was it simply an accident?
I really enjoyed this book. I kept bringing the CDs in from my car so I could continue listening! The author uses an interesting method to construct the book. The story, and secrets, of each character are revealed leading up to the moment they board the plane in individual chapters alternating with the story of what is happening in the present.
I can’t really say much without giving away some of the things revealed in the course of the book at just the right moment, and this moment isn’t it. I can say that I really liked Scott and if I’m ever in the eye of the media I want to have the poise and eloquence he has. The invasiveness of the media is front and center as conspiracy theories and dirt flies. Scott rightly asks, what does his private life or his art have to do with a plane crashing? The question is, does it?
As the details of the crash are revealed both the NTSB and the reader keep changing and modifying their ideas of what happened. I can tell you that the end of the book is pretty shocking in a lot of different ways but it’s a really good ending.