Before The Fall

“Mesmerizing…one of the year’s best suspense novels.”

— Janet Maslin, New York Times

“One part Dennis Lehane, one part Dostoevsky.”

— Michael Cunningham

The instant, runaway bestseller from the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning creator of Fargo and Legion.

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New Zealand


Before The Fall

by Noah Hawley

The New York Times Bestseller and winner of the 2017 Edgar Award for Best Novel.

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 the painter, Scott Burroughs, and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of a powerful media mogul's family.

Was it by chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something more sinister at work? A storm of media attention brings Scott fame that quickly morphs into notoriety and accusations, and he scrambles to salvage truth from the wreckage. Amid trauma and chaos, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy grows and glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, morality, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.

Noah Hawley

About The Author

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, award-winning series, Fargo, and Legion from FX Productions and Marvel Television.

Reviews and Praise

One of the year’s best suspense novels…mesmerizing.

Janet Maslin

New York Times

Irresistible…a terrific thriller.

Patrick Anderson

The Washington Post

Savvy and absorbing.

The Wall Street Journal

SUSPENSEFUL…A struggling painter is inexorably drawn into the lives—and fiery deaths—of two moguls, one financial, the other media.


The Oprah Magazine

A riveting beach read.


I was spellbound from the first page to the last

Michael Cunningham

Pulitzer Prize- winning author of The Hours

On one hand, BEFORE THE FALL is A COMPLEX, COMPULSIVELY READABLE THRILL RIDE of a novel. On the other hand, it is an exploration of the danger of an unchecked media. The combination is a POTENT, GRITTY THRILLER.

Kristin Hannah

New York Times Book Review

I started Noah Hawley’s BEFORE THE FALL last night…my mind wouldn’t stop mulling over the events and the characters. Wow! This is the thriller of the year!

Elaine Petrocelli

Book Passage (Corte Madera)

I started [BEFORE THE FALL] and could not put it down. I am nominating it to Indie-Next…I really do believe it is the perfect book to kick off Summer.

Rob Dougherty

Clinton Book Shop (Clinton, NJ)

The world-worn cynicism that makes ‘Fargo’ such a popular TV show is echoed in the tone of this well-put together novel…The mystery itself unravels beautifully, and Hawley knows how to keep suspense.

Lauren Summersgill

Book Passage (San Francisco, CA)

Noah Hawley’s novel BEFORE THE FALL truly got under my skin… I devoured this smart and unique novel of intrigue and obsession.

Sarah Bagby

Watermark Books (Wichita, KS)

[A] thrilling novel. Read the entire thing on New Year’s Day. Enthralling.

Annie Philbrick

Bank Square Books (Mystic, CT)

I LOVED BEFORE THE FALL! One of the best books I’ve read in a while—a great read with thriller elements.

Adrian Newell

Warwick’s (La Jolla, CA)

A beautiful literary page turner.

Suzanna Hermans

Oblong Books & Music (Rhinebeck, NY)

WILL SEIZE YOU ON THE FIRST PAGE AND NEVER LET YOU GO, as you follow the story of a plane crash . . . and why it happened .

Vanity Fair

An insightful look at families, revenge, and media intrusion . . . SUPERB and cleverly constructed.

Associated Press

A big-brained-why-, how-, and whodunit.


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