Before the Fall

Before the Fall

Book - 2016
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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. Amid pulse-quickening suspense, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.
Publisher: New York : Grand Central Publishing, 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781455561780
Characteristics: 391 pages ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

A private jet to New York with eleven people on it crashes in the ocean, leaving only two survivors: Scott, an aspiring painter, and JJ, the four-year-old son of a wealthy and powerful media mogul. This novel illustrates the development of the relationship between Scott and JJ, Scott’s career a... Read More »

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Apr 13, 2020

Fantastic audiobook!!!

sapl3 Apr 08, 2020

Scott Burroughs, a down-on-his-luck painter, is hoping his luck is about to change when he’s offered a seat on a private jet, flying from Martha’s Vineyard to New York. Sixteen minutes after take-off, he’s floating in the ocean, with only the plane’s debris and a four-year old boy in his grasp.
Hawley devotes a chapter to each character as he systematically sets out the events in each of their lives that eventually lead to the crash of this plane. It’s a riveting story. Burroughs, as the hero of this tale, becomes fodder for the media, and it’s his reaction to their questions and the elements that they find to be the most important that had me cheering for him.
Both a great adventure and a riveting commentary on the media and false news, this is one book that’s hard to put down before you reach the last page.

Jan 25, 2020


Dec 05, 2019

First time reading this author . I listened to the CD and the reader was wonderful. This book was a pleasant surprise because of the interesting perspective and descriptions , or perceptions, by the main character on certain life situtations. Maybe a reader needs to be older to "get it". This was not all about plot, although it kept you guessing right up to end. The plot was a good backdrop . All in all a good read, or maybe it was the reader that brought it all to life for me. All in all a better read than a lot of junk I have come across.

Jul 08, 2019

I guess this is legitimately a mystery - why/how did the plane crash? - but I found myself interested in all of the stuff "before the fall" even more. No spoiler here (you find out immediately), this novel is about the lone adult survivor of a small private plane crash. Most of the book is told from Scott's POV, but the author alternates real time with sections about each passenger/crew member's life up to the fateful flight. I liked the aftermath with the awful "newscaster" and his conspiracy theories and irresponsible blaming of the victims; I liked the before stories; I liked the that-makes-sense-but-I-didn't-see-it-coming resolution. It didn't get a higher rating from me because of some sloppy writing and a too-abrupt ending. But a satisfying read and I recommend it,

Jul 04, 2019

A gifted author however too much drama and not enough story. Got to be too tedious for me so I gave up halfway.

Jun 14, 2019

Interesting premise about the people on board a small plane that crashes.

Mar 13, 2019

Started well enough with a plane crash and some exciting writing.... but then.... it seemed to devolve into a cynical look at just about everyone involved in anything. I gave it up. There's so much to read out there, so much that's wonderful, and not enough time!

Dec 30, 2018

I chose this as audiobook, well read, but rather agree with other reviews. Not a thriller, shallow characters (probably author's intent) jumps about too much for me. I thought I might get the print but after reviews I think not.

Jun 19, 2018

The novel examines contemporary society, especially the role of the media in disasters. I felt the novel was a little too drawn out and the ending was disappointing.

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Apr 21, 2018

"An engineer sees only practical design; function over form. It’s not a question of optimism or pessimism, a glass half full or half empty. To an engineer, the glass is simply too big."

ArapahoeChristine Jul 22, 2017

What is she looking for, this woman? Is it merely a way out? A clear and sensible path to safety? Or has she lost something? Someone? In that moment, when gentle rocking turned into cannonball ricochet, did she go from wife and mother, from sister or girlfriend, from daughter or paramour to refugee? A fulfilled and happy we to a stunned and grieving I?


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ArapahoeChristine Aug 11, 2017

ArapahoeChristine thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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