Sunday, 17 January 2016

#30 Night Film

Night Film by Marisha Pessl

This book is a mystery/psychological thriller set in New York that follows washed up investigative journalist Scott McGrath as he looks into the mysterious death of 24 year old Ashley Cordova. Ashley was the daughter of reclusive horror movie director Stanislas Cordova who has been off the grid since 1977. Scott has been in trouble in the past for writing slanderous stories about Stanislas and the dark and disturbing films he makes.These slanderous stories tainted Scotts reputation and he was no longer as highly regarded within the media profession.

When Ashleys death is ruled as a suicide Scott decides to look into it, not only because he deems it suspicious but because of his aberrant fascination with the Cordova family and the redemption he seeks after his career was ruined by them. Scott then begins an investigation in order to find out what happened to her. Scott teams up with Nora and Hopper and the three of them try to uncover who Stanislas is. Nora is a 19 year old aspiring actress who basically forces Scott into allowing her to be his side kick after promising him information on Ashley. Hopper is a drug addict/alcoholic with a difficult past whose intentions on finding out what happened to Ashley arent really discussed.

Scott was by and large a decent protagonist,his character was quite flawed yet realistic. Nora, i found to be really irritating but i think she was written this way purposely, she was a bit of a stereotype and didnt grow on me at all.

This book is just over 600 pages and is filled with news and web articles, police files along with clues that they find on the way. The visual aid really adds to the story and keeps the reader guessing. I think without these snippets i may have gotten a little bored and it is a little tedious in parts. 600 pages is a lot and the story remained gripping throughout. One of my favorite elements was the mystique surrounding Stanislas and the underground cult following he gained, that alone made for some interesting reading.

This book was marketed as a horror story and i really failed to see any element of horror incorporated, it was rather disappointing. The characters also lacked a little for me, i enjoyed the story surrounding the Cordova's but Nora and Hopper really bored me. There was many times where i found the dialogue when they were questioning people to be dull and unnecessary and it really dragged out the chapters.

The ending was a pleasant surprise, it was satisfying which you dont normally get with a thriller/mystery story. It wasnt rushed and flowed really well and seems to fit in well with the rest of the story.

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