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Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

May 4, 2018

Before the Fall is a novel that successfully keeps the reader on the edge of their seats by having a constant swinging momentum. The action-mystery has the reader follow the story of the crash of a private plane, its survivors, and the suspicious lives of those who passed away before they could explain themselves. The novel differentiates itself from other mystery books by having the setting constantly change from before the crash to after, from character to character. The reader follows along as book dives into the deception of appearances by individually exploring each of the seemingly simple characters. By switching between different perspectives, author Noah Hawley provokes the reader to have their own ideas of how the plane crashed, and why.
The novel explores the difference between the lives of rich and poor, and their surprisingly different values and morals. Two main passengers on board, David Bateman, and Ben Kipling, just happen to be two of the richest men in New York, holding hundreds of millions of dollars to their names. This is just one of the reasons why the investigation must go so deep. One of the two survivors, Scott Burroughs, was a poor painter, who was invited upon the private plane last-minute after a run-in with Mrs. Batemen. After saving the now-orphan JJ, Scott discovers the what the life in the spotlight and constant scrutinization is like, by being the investigations prime suspect. This need to blame someone is a driving force throughout the investigation, making the reader look for clues. The FBI agents on the case, as well as a relentless journalist, constantly look for any possible answer for the crash. They dive into the lives of the rich passengers and their families. By giving each character a possible motive, it is easy to follow along and make predictions.
The unique quality of this novel makes it an easy page-turner, leaving the reader wanting to continue. I thought that the ending was a surprise and really reflected on what a life is worth, and why everyone deserves theirs. The characters were easy to relate with and connect to on one level or another, making it hard to accept that the book is over.

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