Hands down my favorite book so far of this year. It has everything that I love in a novel. Great plot, interesting characters, mystery, horror, suspense, thrills, and an ending I never saw coming.
Night Film is the sophomore effort written by Marisha Pessland. After having much success with Special Topics in Calamity Physics I'm happy that her followup novel is worthy of the same success. Whenever I could steal away moments to read this novel, I couldn't help but believe the world Pessl created in Night Film.
The recent suicide of Ashley Cordova, daughter of the infamous, recluse horror film director Stanislas Cordova drives investigative journalist Scott McGrath, to search for the last people to see her alive. The reason he can't let her death go is because he happens to be one of the last people to see her alive, which wouldn't be so ironic if he hadn't paid a small fortune to her father for comments made at the height of his career. McGrath tries to findout what Cordova could have done to cause his daughter to commit suicide, and to validate the defamating words used that he is certain to be true.
Before long, McGrath enlists the help of Hopper, who is seriously in love with the deaceased. And an "actress" Nora, who stole Ashley's jacket after she left the restaurant she works at without it. These three embark on an insane journey filled with ghost stories, sadism, satanism, voodooism, black magic, and any other witchcraft-y thing you can think of. The stories they encounter add to the suspense and chills of this novel. I really could not get Night Film off my mind when I wasn't reading it.
Each person encountered in this novel adds another layer to the mystery that is the Cordova family. I even began to think these people were real. Pessl provides photos, news articles, website screenshots, and letters in an effort to bring life to this novel. I wish to insert here my love of movies that include people investigating and finding evidence of something amiss. Say a family moves in, has ghosts, reads article whole family slaughtered... that's my favorite type of movie.
I don't want to go on and on about how wonderful Night Film is. It's an engrossing journey in searching for the truth. Only that truth may not exactly be what your were hoping for. Truth may be a whole lot less glamorous than imagined or hoped. I imagine fans of Peter Straub and (yes)Stephen King will enjoy this literary thriller. A definite must read- I hate the term but it's true. I recommend this novel to ALLLLLL! ***** **Won through a goodreads giveaway**