Saturday, November 5, 2016

BEFORE THE FALL, a "Lost"-type tale of plane crash survival


Grand Central
$26.00 hardcover, available now

Rating: 3* of five

The Publisher Says: On a foggy summer night, eleven people--ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter--depart Martha's Vineyard headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the passengers disappear 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 a wealthy and powerful media mogul's family.

With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the tragedy 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 crash heightens. As the passengers' intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy: Was it merely 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--all while the reader draws closer and closer to uncovering the truth.

The fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.

My Review: I voted for this book in the 2016 Goodreads Choice awards. It was the best of the lot in terms of other nominees I'd read.

I don't feel compelled to regurgitate the plot. I do feel compelled to say that the TV show LOST was ever-present in my thoughts as I read the book. Hawley's got a line-by-line ease with words, but his plot is so bog-standard that I was unimpressed by the end of the first third of the story. It might not have dazzled me with fancy footwork, but the pages turned and the words weren't indigestible.

And this was the best choice. 2016 wasn't a great mystery year.

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