● By Robert Frey
By Ray Saadi – Book Editor
BEFORE THE FALL
By Noah Hawley, Grand Central $26
Scott Burroughs, a struggling artist, accepts a ride on a private jet flying between Martha’s Vineyard and New York City. Neither he nor any of the other ten passengers have any idea that the plane will crash into the Atlantic just 16 minutes after takeoff. Scott, incredibly, survives the crash, as does the 4-year-old son of the head of ALC Cable News Network. Scott swims 10 miles through the dark, icy waters with the boy on his back, to safety. He is hailed as a hero by virtually everyone except, ironically, the muckraking ALC News Host. Each passenger’s backstory adds to the mystery and suspense of this terrific thriller.
THE JEALOUS KIND
By James Lee Burke, Simon & Schuster $27.99
Houston, Texas is the perfect setting for the 40s, with the Korean War raging and high school kids wondering about their future. Aaron Holland Broussard, an impressionable high schooler, sees and instantly falls for the beautiful Valerie Epstein. As it happens, Valerie is enamored of and by the town’s gang leader and son of the powerful local mob boss. Aaron realizes he is seriously challenged to prove himself to Valerie and to the memory of his father who fought in the Great War. Burke’s ability to recreate this nostalgic down-to-earth moment in time will resonate strongly among those who were there.