I had no idea what I was getting into when I started reading Before the Fall by Noah Hawley. I was thinking it was a standard disaster tale but that is not at all what I got. I instead read a story that started with a plane crash but soon spiraled into a web of lies and assumptions. The plot took us back into the lives of the plane passengers and possible reasons behind the crash and then into the present where a vicious media firestorm paints the hero as a possible villain. Then throughout the book you understand how he could not be the hero, how one small act can alter many lives and how the obvious answer may not be the whole truth.
The plot of Before the Fall was a twisty turny wonder that took all of my expectations and threw them out the window. A tale of a heartbreaking disaster, the two survivors, the investigation and the media piranhas was itself a dense plot, but then when you add in the mental anguish and the truly unforeseen ending, it was immense. The writing of Noah Hawley was spot on. He was detailed, thoughtful and really kept the plot flowing forward at all times. The pacing had a few minor blips, but nothing that hindered my reading or enjoyment. The world built was not very detailed, but that did not detract as the emotions and characters built the scenes. Speaking of the emotions, this was not an easy read as the events setting off the story were truly tragic. The emotions mirrored this and really struck me as almost a character in themselves. The characters were, for the most part, great. I really liked Scott and his journey. However, there were a few characters that felt more like caricatures. It actually worked well in the scope of the story, but they left me underwhelmed.
Before the Fall is an intense read that will stay with you for days. Noah Hawley created a thriller out of a tragedy that left me guessing the entire time. I read this in the airport waiting to fly home from BEA and I do not recommend that. Every time the plane shook I wondered if we were going down. Hawley is an author I have not picked up before, but I really enjoyed his writing style and cannot wait to dive into another of his worlds.
I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.