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Before the fall : a novel
2016
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Scott Burroughs (Male), Painter, Down-on-his-luck painter
Genre
Fiction
Mystery
Suspense
Topics
Painters
Boys
Wealthy lifestyles
Airplane accidents
Survival
Fate
Human nature
Setting
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts - New England (U.S.)
New York - Mid-Atlantic States (U.S.)
Time Period
2000 -- 21st century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

A private jet carrying 11 people crashes off the Atlantic coast. There are only two survivors-struggling artist Scott Burroughs and the four-year-old he saves, the son of a powerful network executive. Chapters alternate between the present-day investigation of what happened and the backstories of all those who were on the ill-fated flight. The stories of the passengers, pilots, and flight attendant, plus the investigators and surviving relatives, provide acute character studies that complement the brisk storytelling. As Scott develops a bond with the boy, events begin to spiral out of control as accusations fly and the media spin their tales. Robert Petkoff's narration is engaging and effectively portrays a diverse set of characters. VERDICT A great summer listening experience that will be popular with fans of mystery and suspense fiction. ["Rich with a compelling narrative, suspenseful plot twists, and engaging characters, this fourth novel...by an Emmy Award-winning producer...promises to be the must-read thriller of the summer": LJ Xpress Review 4/15/16 starred review of the Grand Central hc.]-Phillip Oliver, formerly with Univ. of North Alabama, Florence © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Hawley, an Emmy-winning television producer and writer, starts his fifth novel with a riveting event that reader Petkoff dramatizes to full effect: on a moonless night, a private plane carrying 11 people from Martha's Vineyard to New York, crashes into the Atlantic. Scott Burroughs, a young artist, survives. He's preparing for an impossibly long swim with a damaged shoulder when he discovers another survivor, a four-year-old boy. Hawley makes their swim as arduous as possible, with Petkoff adding a breathlessness to Burroughs's progress and terror to the boy's fearful cries. Their arrival on shore is just the start of a book that is part mystery (what caused the crash?), part thriller (past the swim, Burroughs is subjected to ruthless and uncompromising media scrutiny), and part social study (Hawley provides complex backstories of those aboard the flight, from the pilot and crew to the wealthy, powerful passengers). In unfolding the story, Hawley sets a fast pace, hopscotching from present to past. Petkoff delivers each shift in chronology and in characters smoothly and clearly, adding the proper emotional touches but being careful to narrate this story of redemption without sentimentality. A Grand Central hardcover. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
Winner of the 2017 EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL and the 2017 INTERNATIONAL THRILLER WRITERS AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL </br></br> FROM THE AWARD-WINNING CREATOR OF FARGO COMES "ONE THE YEAR'S BEST SUSPENSE NOVELS" ( NEW YORK TIMES ). </br></br> 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. <p>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. <p> Kristin Hannah raves, "Noah Hawley really knows how to keep a reader turning the pages... a complex, compulsively readable thrill ride of a novel." <p>
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