Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Latest Review: Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Summary Blurb:
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.

Night Film, the gorgeously written, spellbinding new novel by the dazzlingly inventive Marisha Pessl, will hold you in suspense until you turn the final page.

My Blabberings:
I'm not normally much of a thriller fan (especially when it actually gets downright scary in parts) but I really loved this book!  I rooted for the main character, the side characters were quirky and added dimension to the story, and I was on gnawing my hand off due to anxiety-inducing scenes.

I would probably classify Night Film as a multimedia literary thriller - strange concept, no?  I loved the little newspaper clippings and fictional webpage screenshots peppered throughout the novel.  It made it easier to suspend my disbelief and get swallowed into this gritty world created by Pessl.

Another aspect of this book that struck me is the parallel between Scott McGrath and Stieg Larsson's Mikael Blomkvist.  Both are investigative journalists that have been recently disgraced.  Both are seeking redemption by investigating the very thing that caused their disgrace.  I almost cringe to point out this similarity because the books are so different overall.  I wonder, is this typical thriller trope?  I don't read enough thrillers to really recognize if this is a common protagonist used in this genre.

ANYWAYS, went on a bit of a tangent, but the overall takeaway I want to impart is: this book is awesome!!  Even if you don't particularly like thrillers, I would recommend that you give Night Film a shot.

5/5 stars


  1. I loved this book as well. I saw Peshl speak last year and she was great!

    1. Oh wow, I'm jealous you got to see Pessl speak!

  2. I love book bloggers. This morning I read your review and another (Shelf Love) that couldn't make it through the first 50 pages of this one. I love that you can get a wide and diverse collection of opinions on any book.

    1. Haha, I love that about book bloggers too :) I could see how someone might find the start a bit slow...but it definitely picks up from there!