Monday, September 23, 2013

Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Marisha Pessl's new novel, Night Film is being called "this year's Gone Girl," but I dare say it may just be better.

Set in New York City, Scott McGrath is a has-been reporter whose career took a turn for the worse when he made lofty accusations against Stanislas Cordova, a famed underground director of horrific and thrilling "masterpieces." Films so consuming, they've been banned across the globe and special showings are found by following bizarre clues in the form of graffiti. Years later, Cordova's daughter Ashley is found dead at the bottom of an elevator shaft. Seeking to uncover the truth (murder or suicide?) and possibly reclaim his career, McGrath begins an investigation that will warp his mind and scare him beyond his wildest dreams.

Pessl's text is gripping and terrifying. One night, while so absorbed in the story's many twists and turns, my cellphone rang and I nearly jumped out of my seat. Along his journey, McGrath meets a young actress/hotel clerk and a boy who knew Ashley when she was a teenager. The super sleuths uncover news articles, interviews, and web pages all wrapped in a dark and seedy underground world - many of which are displayed in photographs throughout the book adding a fantastic visual. If I divulged more to you, I would be doing fellow readers a great disservice - you are left guessing until the very end and it is a thrilling ride.

For more from Marisha Pessl, you may try Special Topics in Calamity Physics. Or you may try Gillian Flynn's other titles as well, including Dark Places and Sharp Objects.

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