Before the Fall. Finished 7-5-16, rating 4/5, thriller, 390 pages, pub. 2016
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 Scott Burroughs—the painter—and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family.
With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash 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 tragedy heightens. As the passengers’ intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy. Was it merely by 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. And while Scott struggles to cope with fame that borders on notoriety, the authorities scramble to salvage the truth from the wreckage. from Goodreads
I hate to fly, I do it when I have to because I know it will get me somewhere beautiful, but I still hate it. This book started with a bang, or a blast, or a fire, or whatever might have brought the plane down and led is into cold Atlantic waters with a swimmer and a boy trying to survive. Even knowing from the description that they will be safe didn’t make those pages any less tense or nail biting. I was hooked. What happens when the two hit land is where the story and the condemnation of 24 hour cable news, especially the ones touting a specific point of view, begins.
But journalism was something else, wasn’t it? It was meant to be objective reporting of facts, no matter how contradictory. You didn’t make the news fit the story. You simply reported the facts as they were. When had that stopped being true? (page 274)
This book has been called the book to read this summer from just about every corner of the blogging and print world so I was curious. I loved the first half of the book very much. The victims of the crash all had their say and it was compelling, even though they were dead. The mystery of the crash remained and Scott was a character I wanted to figure out. It is a very smart book. I did think it was a little anticlimactic by the end, but I’d still recommend it.