Book Reviews | Reading

Accident, Faked Death or Murder? Before the Fall by Noah Hawley is a Heart-Racing Mystery

Accident, Faked Death or Murder? Before the Fall by Noah Hawley is a Heart-Racing Mystery

I received this book for free from Publisher via SheReads for review consideration, opinions expressed are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links as indicated by an asterisk. Purchases from these links provides a small commission to me at no extra cost to you.

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Genres: Contemporary, Drama, Fiction, Mystery or Thrillers
Setting: North America > USA > Massachusetts
Pages: 391
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via SheReads
Your Favorite Indie Bookstore* | Amazon Kindle* | Amazon Paperback*

BEFORE THE FALL BY NOAH HAWLEY: A HEART-RACING MYSTERY Was the private jet crash an accident, a faked death or a murder? You won't be able to put this book down until you find out!




4* – I REALLY Liked It! – Before the Fall by Noah Hawley is a heart-racing mystery. Was the private jet crash an accident, a faked death or murder? I could not put this book down until I found out! 


Synopsis from Goodreads:

“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.”


My Thoughts:


When I was in swim lessons as a kid, I felt like I was drowning when a girl tried to use me as a flotation device. I never learned to fully swim and I irrationally fear the water (even in a pool where I can stand up). One of my worst fears is flying and crashing over the ocean. Needless to say, when SheReads offered us Before the Fall by Noah Hawley as one of their Summer Book Club Selections, I thought it sounded like an excellent thriller/mystery but I had to wait until after we returned home from our trip across the ocean in a plane to Spain to even start it.


Boy, was that a wise decision. In Before the Fall, two wealthy families and a painter who just happened to score a seat on the doomed plane, crash off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. The weather was not a factor and the flight was short. So what on earth caused the plane to crash, killing everyone on board except Scott, the painter and JJ, a 4 year-old son of a news channel tycoon? 


Before the Fall kept me up at night. First, it was because I wanted to keep reading so I stayed up late. Then, I went to sleep and woke up at 3am needing to read some more. I could not get out of my head the story of Scott’s heroic rescue of JJ in the hours after the crash. I felt every ache, wave and ounce of desperation that Scott felt as he attempts to save himself and this little boy he does not know. What motivated this bachelor with no fatherly instincts to risk his life and limb to save JJ?


Little does Scott know that in saving JJ’s life, his life will change forever too. Scott is thrown into a spotlight he does not want. His art, his character and his lifestyle are scrutinized under the microscope of the media, FBI and FAA. His heroic act is dissected and suddenly, Scott is having to defend himself and why he’s the only adult to survive the crash. 


The mystery surrounding the plane crash itself was a good one. We are led to believe that both the wealthy men had something to hide or people who wanted them dead. Told in alternating viewpoints of the family members, Scott and the plane’s crew, we learn their back stories and see how a few of them could have been responsible for the crash. We learn about the fragile relationships between them and the secrets they’ve hidden from each other. Through the whole book we wonder, was the crash a true accident, a faked death or a murder? 


It was interesting to see how the case was solved and I really did not predict the ending until the author revealed it in the last few pages. The author’s writing had me emotionally connected to these characters and my heart was racing at the end as I read about the plane going down even though I knew the outcome. 


I highly recommend Before the Fall by Noah Hawley if you like heart-racing, keep you up at night thrillers and mysteries. DON’T read it right before you get on a plane but DO read it any other time, you won’t be able to put it down! 


BEFORE THE FALL by @noahhawley is a heart-racing mystery @SheReadsBookClb Click To Tweet


Books Like This You Might Enjoy:


Before the Storm by Diane Chamberlain – 5* – an autistic teen saves kids from a church fire but the authorities place the blame on him. Could he really have done it? A heartfelt look at fetal alcohol syndrome, the impact of autism on the family and society’s perception of autism. 


Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand* – 5* – true story of resilience and survival when a WWII airman’s plane crashes in the middle of the ocean in enemy territory.


The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve Book Review – a skilled pilot dies in a plane crash and his family tries to uncover the truth behind the crash and the man he really was


Pin for Later:

BEFORE THE FALL BY NOAH HAWLEY: A HEART-RACING MYSTERY Was the private jet crash an accident, a faked death or a murder? You won't be able to put this book down until you find out!

About Noah Hawley

Noah Hawley is an Emmy, Golden Globe, PEN, Critics’ Choice, and Peabody Award-winning author, screenwriter, and producer. He has published four novels and penned the script for the feature film Lies and Alibis. He created, executive produced, and served as showrunner for ABC’s My Generation and The Unusuals and was a writer and producer on the hit series Bones. Hawley is currently executive producer, writer, and showrunner on FX’s award-winning series, Fargo.

Similar Posts


  1. Ohh this sounds good, I cannot stand books or films where the ‘omg huge secret plot twist!’ is pretty obvious from about a third of the way in. So hearing the twist was well hidden is a big motivator for me! x #smallvictoriessundaylinkup

  2. Hi!

    I just wanted you guys (well, you for now) to know that I mentioned your wonderful blog today as one that makes me happy in The Happiness Tag:

    Don’t feel obligated to re-post, unless you want to (it took me two months to find the time to do it!), but I wanted you to know how much I appreciate your blog.


    P.S. I just bought this book for my husband for his birthday this week! I can;t wait to read it, too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.