Night Film by Marisha Pessl is a literary thriller featuring a journalist investigating the death of a young woman, the daughter of a cult-horror director who hasn't been seen in public for decades (available August 20, 2013).
One of Elmore Leonard’s ten rules of writing says: “Don't go into great detail describing places and things.” It’s followed by: “Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.”
Long-winded descriptions about places and things and people in books are exactly the sections I tend to skip. It’s usually because I’m eager to get to the action or the descriptions are bland clichés (crooked smile, anyone?).
But in Marisha Pessl’s Night Film, the author not only managed to make me not skip her descriptions, she amused me with many of them. The thriller is about a disgraced journalist named Scott McGrath seeking the truth behind the death of a reclusive cult director’s daughter. Authorities believe she jumped to her death, but McGrath thinks she may have been driven to it by her father, whom McGrath has compared to Charles Manson when it comes to the influence he has over his fans and followers.