Up until the last few pages, Noah Hawley’s Before the Fall was going to get one of my rare 5 ratings. The intense, nail-biting suspense makes it tough to put it down, but at the end, it goes strangely downhill and suffers from a predictable ending. However, the majority of it is still a wonderful read.
At the beginning, the reader knows that there was a plane crash and that almost everyone on board perished in it. The only survivors were Scott, who was invited to take the trip last minute, and J.J., the young son of a rich couple. Scott is able to get J.J. to shore even though they are miles away, and the rest of the book is spent delving into the backgrounds of each of the people on the manifest and those that are left behind. The story here is what happened to cause the plane crash, with lots of red herrings thrown in as a distraction.
Hawley sets up each chapter with the name of the person, their date of birth, and their date of death. While there are many unexpected details and surprises throughout the book, the ending is disappointing and makes an otherwise 5-star book go down to a solid four.
MY RATING - 4