Eleven people board a plane, one of them is a painter, Scott, who has had a rough past and the other 10 are from a privileged background and Scott knows that he is lucky to be on this plane. Sixteen minutes after the flight takes off, it crashes into the Ocean and everyone dies except for Scott and a young boy. Scott is being hailed as a hero, but there are some who do not believe his story and have questions they want answered, especially why was he on that plan as he clearly did not belong there. Here is the story of Scott and the other passengers Before the Fall as we explore what caused the plane to crash.
Normally when I find an author that is transferring from the small or big screen to writing a fiction novel, their books have fallen flat. I find that you can tell they are used to writing something for a visual audience not one where the audience sees with their mind not their eyes. However, I do not think that this is the case with Hawley. I found that this book was well written and descriptive. I think that this had to do with the main character (I say main character as we have the most POV from Scott) being an artist by trade and Hawley uses this to his advantage when we are inside Scott's head. The book becomes more dimensional in it's world building and what is occurring because of Scott.
I enjoyed how Hawley went back and forth between the past and present but it was kind of morbid and sad in a way as you get to know some of the other characters in the book, whether you like them or dislike them, but you know that these are going to be their final moments, especially that of the children (though we do not get their perspective). This was extremely well done, very interesting, and I personally have not read a book that took in to account the perspectives of those who have died before.
It was nice to really have a hero in this book who was just a regular guy who thrown into these specific set of circumstances he is able to save his life and that on a little boy. I think that Scott portrayed a very realistic sense of the people who are every day hero, in which they do not think of themselves as such and that people just want to be part of their limelight (even if they do not want it) plus
I enjoyed the main antagonist in this book Bill Cunningham who was so concerned in finding out the "truth" and pointing out the flaw of our hero that he goes out of his way to break the law. Cunningham also reminded me of Trump in a way as he would make a mountain out of a mole hill especially in regards to Scott going in to hiding and not wanting the media attention on him.
Overall, was an interesting read, but was not quite the thriller I was expecting, more a mystery and exploration in to human behaviour, which it what I really enjoyed. I did find it slow at times but I think Hawley did this on purpose because there were so many people to explore and not all of them can live an interesting life, have sort of scandal or skeleton in their closet (there are just normal people out there too). I would read another book by Hawley and I'm excited to see what he comes up with next.
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