A labyrinthine, complex literary horror-mystery novel, Night Film has a seemingly endless amount of twists and turns. I was immediately and completely sucked into the story: a dark tale of an infamous horror filmmaker, his ethereal daughter, the multitude of loyal hangers-on, a possible suicide, a possible murder, disappearing witnesses, and a devastating love story. Pessl is a worthy storyteller and she certainly knows how to force you to the top of her cliffhangers. Midway through, the story seemed to become bogged down with everything devolving into some kind of dark-magic, supernatural mumbo-jumbo. Luckily, that particular twist was just a ruse designed to confuse — and, yes — I was duped. Hang on — Pessle will fling you, blindfolded, on a long and switch-backed roller coaster ride down a pitch-black rabbit hole. Enjoy the jaunt. Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Brilliant, haunting, breathtakingly suspenseful, Night Film
is a superb literary thriller by the New York Times
bestselling author of the “blockbuster debut” (People
) Special Topics in Calamity Physics
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.
“This summer’s Gone Girl: a completely absorbing literary thriller.” Library Journal
“Get ready to talk about this book.” Entertainment Weekly
“A literary mystery that’s also a page-turner...Night Film might be the most talked-about novel this summer.” Time Out New York
“An inventive — if brooding, strange and creepy — adventure in literary terror. Think Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King meet Guillermo del Toro as channeled by Klaus Kinski.” Kirkus Reviews
“Expands from a seemingly straightforward mystery into a multifaceted, densely byzantine exploration of much larger issues....Into this mazelike world of dead ends and false leads, McGrath ventures with his two, much younger helpers, Nora and Hopper, brilliantly portrayed Holmesian ‘irregulars’ who may finally understand more about Ashley than their mentor, whose linear approach to fact finding might miss the point entirely.” Booklist (starred review)
About the Author
Marisha Pessl’s bestselling debut novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, won the 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. Pessl grew up in Asheville, North Carolina, and currently resides in New York City.