Reading Night Film by Marisha Pessl is another attempt at me trying to scratch the literary itch left by The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. I think I may have finally satisfied the itch! That isn’t to say that Night Film is perfect or perfectly comparable to Larsson’s work, but it is certainly good.
Scott McGrath is an investigative reporter who once got a little too investigative into the life of a legendary film maker, Stanislas Cordova. McGrath reports on something outlandish without solid proof and his reporting career is forever smudged by Cordova. When Cordova’s daughter is found dead and the death is being called a suicide, McGrath is suspicious and picks up his investigation again. For better or for worse he is committed to finding the ending to Cordova’s story.
I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews on Night Film and, as I said, it isn’t perfect, but there appears to be a lot of outcry about how it ends. I really can’t say anything more about the plot without giving something away. I will say that it wasn’t what I was expecting and if you like endings that tie up everything nicely then maybe you won’t enjoy this book. Personally, I thought it ended very well… even if I did reread the last page a few times and did a desperate search of the end papers for something more to end on…
There were a few things that kept this book from being a five star review for me, but they are admittedly small. The book, though good and a fairly fast read for being just about six hundred pages, dragged a little. Especially around the middle I got a little bored with it. The pace slowed down and the clues leading from one place to the next appeared a little too conveniently. Some parts weren’t as believable as others, but it must be difficult to write a mystery/thriller and suck every reader into believing the trail of evidence. The characters were also just a touch flat for me. I didn’t care about anyone that much and I felt like Nora was a poor man’s Lisbeth Salander. It is unfair of me to even compare the two, but I couldn’t shake the comparison as I read the book. That is probably more of a fault with me than the novel though. If the book sounds interesting, pick it up! It was a fun ride and really played with my mind. I will definitely be keeping an eye on Pessl in the future.