There is a fine line between obsession and the need to find the truth, but for journalist, Scott McGrath, the line is even more blurred, especially when it comes to the reclusive cult film director Stanislas Cordova. A few years ago McGrath had been on the verge of publishing an expose’ based on a source’s strange and troubling revelations, which gave credence to the rumors that the darkness and horror portrayed in Cordova’s movies was more reality than fiction, but suddenly his source disappeared, Cordova sued for defamation and McGrath became a pariah in the journalism world. After that encounter with the Cordova’s, McGrath should have been more cautious, but when Ashley Cordova’s body is found in a derelict warehouse in lower Manhattan, McGrath is drawn back into trying to find out the the truth about Cordova all over again.
Ashley was always an enigma-appearing in one of her father’s film’s at age 8, debuting as a concert pianist at Carnegie Hall at age 12 and now dying of an apparent suicide at age 24. Helped by Nora, the hat check girl who was the last one to see Ashley before her death and Hopper who seems to have some prior connection to Ashley, McGrath tries to retrace Ashley’s steps in order to solve the mystery of her death.
Interspersing multi media materials like websites, news articles, and even Rolling Stone magazine articles, Pessl fully immerses us into the life of this film director, blurring the lines between reality and fiction just as this fictional director evidently did in his movies. She is a sophisticated writer who can weave a suspenseful, thriller of a story, but never neglects the development of her characters. Both convoluted and creepy, Pessl carefully crafts this story and with a deft touch allows us glimpses of the truth before veering off to follow myriad new leads. As one reviewer on Amazon said, “…if you can accept novels as fairground rides, you will love this!” And I did!
Brenda’s Ranking: **** 1/2 (4 1/2 Stars out of 5)
Recommend this book to: Marian, Lauren and Sharon
Book Study worthy: Yes!
Read in ebook format. (Use an eReader where you can enlarge to read the multi media materials!)