Reviews

Night Film by Marisha Pessl

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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.


A friend lent me this book, and I couldn’t wait to start it. I’d never heard of the book before, but it came highly recommended, so I got to it right away.

This is the first book I’ve read in a while that required me to sit and think about how I really felt about the book. It took me quite a while to decide if I liked it, if it made me angry, or if I was just disappointed. It was a nice change, actually, to have a book that left me feeling so ambivalent.

The good points of Night Film:
-It was fairly fast paced, and a bit difficult to put down. I got through it in only five days, which is fast when I’m working.
-The surprises were constant. Mysteries are usually pretty predicable, but this one kept throwing new information at you that set you down an entirely different track.
-The visuals – news articles, website shots, etc. – were a really cool element.
-It resolves the mystery, but not every detail, leaving you wondering what happens next.

The downsides:
-I don’t know who edited this, but someone should disable their italics button. 98% of the italics used in this book are completely unnecessary.
-The characters are paper flat, and no time is taken to actually develop them, with the possible exception of Ashley Cardova, and that is only because the book revolves around her mystery.

I’m undecided how I feel about the ending as well. It’s either the perfect ending, or the most disappointing, and I still haven’t decided which one.

Overall, Night Film is a fast-paced thriller that will keep you wondering up until the end, and then some. I would definitely suggest it to anyone looking for a fast-paced thriller with an intriguing mystery.

4.5/5

A Song for This Book:
Into The Storm by Robert W. Smith

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