“Mortal fear is as crucial a thing to our lives as love. It cuts to the core of our being and shows us what we are. Will you step back and cover your eyes? Or will you have the strength to walk to the precipice and look out?”
Format: Paperback (Bought)
Published: 30th January 2014
Publisher: Windmill Books
Score: 4 out of 5
Synopsis taken from Goodreads:
A page-turning thriller for readers of Stephen King, Gillian Flynn, and Stieg Larsson, Night Film tells the haunting story of a journalist who becomes obsessed with the mysterious death of a troubled prodigy—the daughter of an iconic, reclusive filmmaker.
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.
Wow – what a well written, intense and immersive read. I am not going to say too much about the plot, keeping an open mind about this novel and what it entails is the best way to read it.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, there were a few grey areas which I will briefly mention, hence the reason for my rating being a four instead of five star.
Firstly, the description. Oh my goodness, the attention to detail in this novel is perfect. You genuinely feel like you are in their world, seeing what they see. There is one particular section in the novel which was so vivid it was actually terrifying – I will let you see for yourselves! It has a very fast paced narrative in which the action proceeds to build and develop throughout.
The novel mixes reality with supernatural elements, completely engaging human psychology. It has this odd effect on you as a reader, you begin to question your own judgements. Perfectly creepy and totally chilling, with an unpredictable storyline. Pessl also incorporates newspaper cuttings, website and Facebook pages, case study notes, photographs and medical reports into the novel. This is a superb touch and makes the reading that little bit more real. I really enjoyed this element – I hope other authors catch on to this new, modernised, literary technique. You can also download an app which allows you to access more content, something I chose not to do this time around.
Scott McGrath is our main protagonist, a detective looking into the death of Ashley Cordova, daughter of a popular, albeit twisted, film director. He is helped by two accomplices, not your likely characters. The book does lack character development. I felt that the characters all had a similar voice, I couldn’t find any distinctive traits in any of them. The intense description seems to take precedence over character development.
It also had a particularly odd ending – one that I am still not completely sure of. It also left a few questions unanswered. The pieces of the mystery do seem to add up like a jigsaw puzzle about hallway through the narrative. Moving towards the end though there was an element that seemed to have been skirted over and missed out – I cannot say much more without spoiling the plot. I just got a little frustrated with this.
Overall, a fantastic read – intense, creepy, chilling and immersive. One that I am glad I picked up and would recommend to those who love a good psychological thriller.
‘A fantastically creepy read that will leave you on the edge of your seat. A perfect novel for lovers of psychological thrillers, Night Film certainly keeps you guessing all the way through.’