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Night Film by Marisha Pessl #BookReview

On a damp October night, 24-year-old 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 Stanislaus 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. 

Title: Night Film | Author: Marisha Pessl | Publisher: Random House | Pub. Date: 08/20/2013 | Pages: 592 | ISBN13: 9781400067886 | Genre: Thriller/Horror | Language: English | Source: Self-Purchased | Starred Review

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Night Film Review

Oh, Night Film was so twisty and turny and involving. A director who makes terror-filled movies of the Giallo type. Reclusive, confined to his own kingdom in which he rules. Anyone who comes into contact with him is changed, not always for the better. Scott McGrath has humiliated himself in his quest as an investigative journalist to uncover Cordova’s secrets and wants, not revenge, but closure. To know. Along with him are Nora, a young woman, and Hopper, a young man. The trio follow a trail starting with the suicide of Cordova’s daughter, Ashley.

I really liked the way the book was set up with the ‘web’ pages. It says in the back that it has interactive links in the text so I’ll probably end up getting the e-book anyway to check that out. If anyone else has it let me know if it would be worth it.

I loved the writing style. It really draws you into the creepiness and makes everything feel dark. The characters are amazing. Even the smallest characters feel vibrant and real. No matter how ridiculous they seem. Characters, like Nora, should have backstories so ridiculous that they shouldn’t be believable. But they are. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with Nora completely. Scott took me a little longer to warm up to but I really did like his character after a bit. And not too long, at that.

Ashley, for never being really onscreen, was a great character. Her personality is always shifting, always changing as they uncover information and talk to people. I don’t want to say too much about her since the plot is so tightly wound around who she is, what she is. It does have shades of the ‘perfect’ woman which could be a little much at times but

The pacing flows so well that it’s engrossing. It ramps up right when it should and keeps going. There are slight lulls but they come when they should, when it’s natural for the story. If it didn’t have a little downtime it wouldn’t feel natural.

I see it listed as a thriller mostly but it’s so steeped in the supernatural, horror and magic that it reads easily as a horror novel. There are a lot of thinly veiled references to horror figures and the book as a whole feels very much like a dark love letter to Giallo movies.

I would highly recommend Night Film.

Published inHorror Book ReviewsThriller Book Reviews
┬ęSci-Fi & Scary 2019
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