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Before the Fall

By Noah Hawley

Narrated by Robert Petkoff
12 hours 55 minutes

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When a private plane plunges into the ocean off Martha's Vineyard, the media and the government want answers. The two survivors -- a middle-aged artist along for the ride and the 4-year-old son of a prominent and powerful family - have little to say. Before the Fall takes the reader on a thrilling ride through the past lives of the other passengers and the aftermath of the crash. As the deepest secrets of the wealthy and those who surround them surface, no one is safe. A brilliant and relentless thriller.

Geoffrey Jennings, Rainy Day Books Rainy Day Books image

From the Emmy, PEN, Peabody, Critics' Choice, and Golden Globe Award-winning creator of the TV show Fargo comes the thriller of the year.

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 Scott Burroughs--the painter--and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family.

With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members--including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot--the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens. As the passengers' intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy. Was it merely by dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations. And while Scott struggles to cope with fame that borders on notoriety, the authorities scramble to salvage the truth from the wreckage.

Amid pulse-quickening suspense, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.


When a private plane plunges into the ocean off Martha's Vineyard, the media and the government want answers. The two survivors -- a middle-aged artist along for the ride and the 4-year-old son of a prominent and powerful family - have little to say. Before the Fall takes the reader on a thrilling ride through the past lives of the other passengers and the aftermath of the crash. As the deepest secrets of the wealthy and those who surround them surface, no one is safe. A brilliant and relentless thriller.

Geoffrey Jennings, Rainy Day Books
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Before the Fall is a ravishing and riveting beauty of a thriller. It's also a deep exploration of desire, betrayal, creation, family, fate, mortality, and rebirth. It's one part Dennis Lehane, one part Dostoevsky. I was spellbound from first page to last; I haven't fully recovered yet.

Michael Cunningham, Author of The Hours

[A] terrific thriller...an irresistible mystery.. a tale that's both an intriguing puzzle and a painful story of human loss.

The Washington Post

This is one of the year's best suspense novels, a mesmerizing, surprise-jammed mystery that works purely on its own, character-driven terms....Mr. Hawley has made it very, very easy to race through his book in a state of breathless suspense.

New York Times

This isn't just a good novel; it's a great one. I trusted no one in these pages, yet somehow cared about them all. Before the Fall brings a serrated edge to every character, every insight, and every wicked twist.

Brad Meltzer, Author of The President's Shadow

About the Author

Noah Hawley is an Emmy, Golden Globe, Critics' Choice, and Peabody Award-winning author, screenwriter and producer. He has published five novels, including The Good Father, 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, writer, and showrunner on FX's award-winning series, Fargo.

You can follow Hawley on Facebook or Twitter .

Reviews

Right from the start of Hawley’s page turner, you know you are reading something extraordinary. The characters are beautifully drawn, the story is tight and compelling, and you will have a hard time putting down this sure-to-be-a-hit thriller. Scott Burroughs is a painter who is just starting to make a “splash” in the art world when he accepts a ride on a private plane from Martha’s Vineyard to Manhattan. Also on the plane are business man, media mogul, and millionaire David Bateman, his wife, and two children, Rachel, age nine, and JJ, age four. Completing the passenger list is Bill Cunningham, a stock broker who may be in trouble with the SEC, and his wife, Sarah. Fifteen minutes into the flight, the plane crashes into the ocean. Scott and JJ are the only survivors. Scott manages to swim himself and the young boy to safety, only to find themselves (and the incident) under intense media scrutiny. Much of the novel is the back story of each passenger on the plane, building a link between the present and what actually happened in the minutes before the plane crash. Before the Fall combines the investigation into the accident and the relationship between Scott and JJ to create a compelling drama in the midst of a media circus. Noah Hawley is an Emmy, Golden Globe, PEN, and Peabody Award-winning author, screen writer, and producer and this debut thriller is sure to be another winner.

Mysterious Galaxy Books

This is a gritty tale of a man overwhelmed by unwelcome notoriety, with a stunning, thoroughly satisfying conclusion.

Publishers Weekly

Author

Narrator
Robert Petkoff

ISBN
9781478987581

Length
12 hours 55 minutes

Language
English

Publisher
Hachette Audio

Publication Date

Abridged
No

  • You need hope to form a thought. It takes-- I don't know-- optimism to speak, to engage in conversation. Because really, what's the point of all this communicating? What difference does it really make what we say to each other? Or what we do, for that matter?
  • Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.
  • Life is a series of decisions and reactions. It is the things you do and the things that are done to you.
And then it's over.
  • Everyone is from someplace. We all have stories, our lives unfolding along crooked lines, colliding in unexpected ways.
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