This recommendation comes from Patti Abbott, who blogs at Pattinase.
Before the Fall, Noah Hawley
Noah Hawley is the showrunner for FARGO, a TV series I think highly of. So when he published a book (his fourth actually) I was interested. And when it was available as an ebook for a $1.99, I pounced. I wonder who takes the hit when Amazon and other platforms do this: the author, the publisher, the platform?
Before the Fall is a thriller and a well-done one. The unexplained crash of a small private plane carrying a family of four, some friends, a small crew, and a body guard happens in the first chapters. The family ‘s a wealthy one and attempts have been made to kidnap their child before. Each of the plane’s passengers gets their own back story as we follow the progress of the investigation. Each story offers a possible reason for the crash.
There are two survivors, Scott, an artist and acquaintance of the family and the family’s four-year old son. Scott made an heroic swim to save them both. (An interesting side note is Scott became an excellent swimmer as a child after watching Jack Lalanne haul a ship through his swimming prowess). And yet Scott’s heroism also comes under scrutiny. His paintings are all of disaster scenes. Did he create his own? There are lots of red herrings but well integrated ones.
If I have a criticism of the book, which was mostly terrific, it would be that the back stories were too long, especially those for lesser characters. And the ending was perhaps too pedestrian given the possibilities offered us. But isn’t that how life often is? A very good late summer read, but maybe not on a plane flight.