Night Film is intriguing from the start. The story parallels The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo, in that a journalist in need of redemption investigates the untimely death of a young woman with a mysterious family. Her father, Stanislas Cordova, is famous film director with a cult following. Scott McGrath had tanked his career when he falsely accused Cordova of harming children. Eager to redeem himself, McGrath looks into Ashley Cordova's life to see what led her to jump off a roof.
As he digs, McGrath unwillingly acquires two characters as investigative partners. One is a quirky, homeless coat check girls who was the last person Ashley spoke to the night she died. The other is a childhood friend, whose lackadaisical approach to life seems to mask a deeper connection to the dead girl.
Pessl ambitiously leverages multi-media to weave a relevant mystery. Rather than graphics the book is interspersed with web page screen shots, reproductions of magazine articles and emails.
Marisha Pessl is originally from Asheville, North Carolina. Night Film is her second novel. Her first, Special Topics in Calamity Physics was a New York Times best seller. She now resides in New York City.