Before the Fall
A private plane goes down on a flight from Martha's Vineyard to New York City. All onboard are lost, with the exception of a painter and the four-year-old boy he saves, who is also the sole heir to an enormous fortune. The other passengers were wealthy and powerful, and Scott Burroughs, the painter, finds himself the subject of media scrutiny. First for his heroism, and then for his possible role in the crash.
Hawley tells a compelling story as he wades through the pasts of each passenger, examining their relationships and their ultimate paths to a seat on the plane. This didn't feel like a thriller or suspense novel, as the marketing would suggest, but rather an examination of the characters and the media circus that accompanies incidents surrounding people of power. It was a compelling listen; I found the end somewhat disappointing, but the journey to it was enjoyable.
This post may include affiliate links. That means if you click and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Please see Disclosures for more information.
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 the painter Scott Burroughs and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family.
Was it by chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something more sinister at work? A storm of media attention brings Scott fame that quickly morphs into notoriety and accusations, and he scrambles to salvage truth from the wreckage. Amid trauma and chaos, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy grows and glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, morality, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.