Night Film by Marisha Pessl

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… Because every one of us has four box, a dark chamber stowing the thing that lanced our heart. It contains what you do everything for, strive for, would everything around you. And if it were opened, would anything be set free? No. For the impenetrable prison with the impossible lock is you own head.

The decision to read Night Film came as a whim while I was scrolling through my list in my e-reader. One chapter in an I have convinced myself I can only read this during daytime.

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. (Goodreads)

Ashley Cordova’s death sent McGrath into an investigation frenzy. He believes there’s more to Ashley’s alleged suicide and he wanted to get to the bottom of it. He wanted to know the truth.

This is my first Pessl novel and I didn’t expect to enjoy it, but I did. I get scared easily so reading this at 3 in the morning while I nurse my daughter was not (I guess I should say never) an option. I think the main reason I was fearful throughout this reading experience was I went in to Night Film blind. I thought, based on the cover, it’ll be about films shown at night, and their audience. I was SO wrong. However, I powered through it and as much as it frightened me, I kept pressing for the next page.

I was not too thrilled of how it dragged on. I was constantly wondering if I was getting close to the end, closer to the truth. Ultimately though, I felt the novel was a buildup to an ok ending. It didn’t give me that feeling of contempt, and relief I was hoping for. If anything, I’m left confused between versions of truths presented to me on the days I read Night Film.

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