Share Genre-Bending Mystery Thriller Reads Like a Movie

Genre-Bending Mystery Thriller Reads Like a Movie

Becky Nesbitt has more than twenty years of editorial experience in the publishing industry, most recently as VP Editor in Chief of Howard Books. She currently freelances as an executive editor and reviewer, falsely believing that it allows her more time to watch soaps and eat bonbons but correctly discovering that she is more present and available to her family and friends. She lives in Nashville with her husband and three children.

If you need a good reason to miss a few social functions in the next week or so, pick up Night Film by Marisha Pessl. Once you dive into this literary thriller, you may find yourself skipping all of your commitments—just so you can keep reading. It’s that good.

As a fan of thrillers and a lover of literary fiction, I was excited to read this book even though I had no odious commitments I needed to skip. I was not disappointed, as Pessl created a world that kept me off-kilter for the entire journey.

Never sure who was telling the truth, including the spectacularly unreliable narrator, I was pulled from scene to scene in a daze, not quite ready for what was around the corner. The writing had the effect of making the action hard to see, like an old black-and-white film noir, with details fading into the mist and off the periphery of the page. My brain scrambled to interpret each scene, and once it finally settled I was yanked away in another direction only to encounter dead ends and satisfying clues.

In this complex story, journalist Scott McGrath saw his career and marriage ruined by a libel lawsuit over comments he made about the reclusive horror-movie director Stanislas Cordova. Now the director’s daughter, a former piano prodigy, has died a suspicious death, one that is officially being labeled a suicide.

McGrath is drawn in by his hatred of Cordova and his desire to clear his name. As he attempts to learn the truth about the apparent suicide, he is pulled into an ever-deepening morass of maybe-clues and possible leads. Reality starts to become an elusive commodity as the lines between science and mysticism are increasingly blurred. McGrath finds himself in a shadow world, as frightening and unsettling as a Cordova movie, and seemingly just as controlled by the mysterious man.

Night Film is a book that builds such a strong and compelling world that it is hard to break free of its grasp. Both the slowly unraveling mystery and the complex, flawed characters who struggle to understand it creates a page-turning thriller so engrossing you will forget it’s fiction.

Will you encounter the occasional implausible jumps, discoveries, and coincidences that so often plague thrillers? Yes. Are there entirely too many italicized words? Absolutely. But if you are able to give the usual benefit of the doubt and suspend your disbelief, you will definitely be enthralled.

 

 


Becky Nesbitt freelances as an executive editor and reviewer. She lives in Nashville with her husband and three children.


Night Film
Marisha Pessl

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

9 Books That Will Have You Reading from Dawn till Dusk

By Sarah Jane Abbott | March 26, 2018

Reading XXL: 15 Extra Long Books Perfect for Extra Long Winter Nights

By Julianna Haubner | January 26, 2016

Genre-Bending Mystery Thriller Reads Like a Movie

By Becky Nesbitt | April 27, 2015

Close

Thank you for joining our email list!

If you create an Off the Shelf account, you'll be able to save books to your personal bookshelf, and be eligible for free books and other good stuff.

Click here to create your free account.

You must be logged in to add books to your shelf.

Please log in or sign up now.