I received an advance copy of this book through the Amazon Vine Program.
When I first picked up NIGHT FILM, the tone and layout reminded me a little bit of HOUSE OF LEAVES by Mark Danielewski. The book opens with journalist Scott McGrath heading out for a run. McGrath attempted an expose on mysterious underground horror filmmaker Stanislaus Cordova but the whole thing blew up in his face. McGrath's career was devastated by slander charges and he is working to rebuild his life. When McGrath returns from his run, he discovers that Cordova's daughter, Ashley, has been found dead in an apparent suicide. Despite his best efforts, McGrath finds himself getting drawn into Cordova's world once again as he attempts to discover what really happened to Ashley. As he gets deeper into his investigation, McGrath is joined by a young coatcheck girl who was one of the last people to see Ashley alive and a mysterious young man who has a hidden connection to Ashley. The three of them work to retrace Ashley's steps in her final days and find out what drove the girl to suicide.
One of the things that made this book so compelling were the photos of evidence throughout the book. You see the same articles, websites and other pieces of evidence that the McGrath and his team are seeing. The reader feels as if they are going through the investigation with Scott and slowly piecing together what happened to Ashley and the truth about Cordova. The book constantly keeps you guessing about the truth and Pessl manages to maintain a high level of suspense throughout the book without it feeling gratuitous. I found the book hard to put down because I was so anxious to found out the truth about Ashley and Cordova. The ending was a little bit disappointing but, overall, I really enjoyed the book. It worked really well as a mystery/suspense story.
BOTTOM LINE: Recommended. A highly suspenseful book that will keep you on the edge of your seat as you attempt to solve the mystery of Ashley and her father along with McGrath.