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Before the Fall    by Noah Hawley order for
Before the Fall
by Noah Hawley
Order:  USA  Can
Grand Central, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

A private plane takes off, and sixteen minutes later only two of the eleven people on board are alive. What happened? Before the Fall brilliantly details the lives of all involved and weaves in clues as to the cause of the accident, keeping the suspense up to the end.

There are a lot of characters to get to know, but author Hawley manages to give us background on each one and keep the story moving forward. Two very wealthy couples, one with a bodyguard and two children, are flying to New York from Martha's Vineyard. In addition to the flight crew of three, an artist joins the passengers at the last minute.

From the outset, there are many questions. Was there something wrong with the plane? Did something happen to the pilot or co-pilot? Why was the artist there? Being that the husbands David and Ben were highly involved in finance, could there have been some sort of foul play?

We follow the various agencies' attempts to sort things out while the media are in a frenzy to find immediate answers. Even though the tale mainly concerns the plane's passengers, it is what happens afterward among the minor characters that brings out the meaning of the story. This is a very entertaining and satisfying read.

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