Review: Night Film, Marisha Pessl

Night Film, Marisha Pessl cover
On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova—a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.
For McGrath, another death connected to this seemingly cursed family dynasty seems more than just a coincidence. Though much has been written about Cordova’s dark and unsettling films, very little is known about the man himself.
Driven by revenge, curiosity, and a need for the truth, McGrath, with the aid of two strangers, is drawn deeper and deeper into Cordova’s eerie, hypnotic world.
The last time he got close to exposing the director, McGrath lost his marriage and his career. This time he might lose even more.

Marisha Pessl grew up in Asheville, North Carolina, and now lives in New York City. Special Topics in Calamity Physics, her debut novel, was a bestseller in both hardcover and paperback. It won the 2006 John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize (now the Center for Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize), and was selected as one of the 10 Best Books of the Year by The New York Times Book Review. Night Film is her second novel.

Since reading the synopsis of this book it has been on my wish list and I was delighted to find a copy under the Christmas tree. The first fifty pages pull you in the story in one go. That is if you can handle the various ways in which the story is presented. There are images of internet pages providing the reader with background information and newspaper clippings. I did not find it disturbing and was hooked on the story quick. First tip for reading this book, do not read it when you have a lot of other obligations. I really had a hard time putting the book down to do other things.
The more time you spend with the book the more you get enclosed in the dark and hunting atmosphere. This is the biggest power in this book. The characters are less powerful which was a shame. With all the characters even Scott I had a problem finding peace with their motives. I did not really get that "I got nothing to lose" feeling with him which would explain this suicide mission. Though I understand Hopper's reason much better I have a problem with his behavior keeping things secret for unknown reasons. Nora did bring some brightness between these two dark man but why she was there still remains a mystery to me. The good thing about missing the real spark with the characters though was that it gave me space to get in the story and the mystery. To puzzle myself and experience it.
The book comes with a phone app which adds a lot of extras like files, photo's, audio and video material. Though it is not required to keep up with the story it adds an extra touch to the experience of this book.

Night Film
Author: Marisha Pessl
Publisher: Hutchinson
Pages: 602
Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 0091953790
ISBN-13: 9780091953799
Hutchinson: eBook | Hardcover | Paperback
Night Film
4 stars

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21 January, 2014 delete

I'm glad you got a book you wanted for Christmas!

21 January, 2014 delete

I must admit it was forced in Santa's arms while shopping.