Before The Fall by Noah Hawley, published 2016. A private plane, a 9-seat OSPRY 700SL, goes down between Martha’s Vineyard and Teterboro. It’s a smart, compelling drama about mortality and rebirth that I finished in 2 short days.
The occupants were an interesting lot with the only survivors being a painter and a 4 year old boy. The author devotes a chapter to each one’s story: Ben Kipling – a financier on his way to jail the next morning, courtesy of the Office of Foreign Assets Control; his wife – Sarah; David Bateman – head of a conservative news network; his wife, Maggie – a former kindergarten teacher who has grown weary of a flashy lifestyle; Rachel Bateman – 9 year old daughter of David and Maggie who was kidnapped 3 years earlier; the Bateman’s 4 year old son who is mostly referred to as “the boy”; Gil Baruch – an Israeli ex-pat and personal detail to the Batemans; Scott Burroughs – a painter of catastrophes; James Melody, captain of the aircraft; a Texas-born party boy just in from London as the co-captain; Emma Lightner – flight attendant.
The author is an Emmy, Gloden Globe, PEN, Critics’ Choice and Peabody Award-winning author, screenwriter and producer. In the Cool Mona award system, I give it 4 margaritas. It’s a good one.