“Everyone is from someplace. We all have stories, our lives unfolding along crooked lines, colliding in unexpected ways.”
Before the Fall opens with a plane crash with only two survivors.
Scott Burroughs is a painter who lives on Martha’s Vineyard and paints disaster scenes in homage to his sister who passed away as a teenager. As a young child he watched Jack LaLanne swim to shore from Alcatraz; this moment inspired him to join the swim team.
Maggie is married to media mogul David Bateman and they have two small children. Maggie invites Scott and another couple to join them on the Bateman’s private jet to New York City one evening. Eighteen minutes after take off the plan crashes into the ocean leaving Scott and JJ, the Bateman’s son, as the sole survivors. Scott uses his LaLanne swim skills to swim himself and the boy safely to shore.
There is an investigation into the crash and many people, both inside and outside of the investigation, are trying to figure out how Scott fits in the narrative of the Bateman family. There are a few red herrings about the Bateman family and their social circle before the big reveal of “whodunit” at the end.
I felt like certain parts of the narrative dragged while other parts were rushed. Hawley is an excellent writer, which you know if you watch Fargo, but I wish there had been an epilogue of some sort to see where everyone lands after the culprit is discovered.