Marisha Pessl’s follow-up to her 2006 debut novel Special Topics in Calamity Physics is more fun. Whereas Topics deals with the social pressures of an elite high school, only kicking into high gear in the final section, Night Film dives into full thriller mode from the beginning. The story revolves around a mysterious filmmaker with a malignant legacy; the filmmaker’s gifted daughter (recently deceased); and a middle-aged journalist desperate to regain his professional reputation. It’s not great literature, but it is an addictive read. And Pessl has added an innovative dimension to her book—if you download the Night Film Decoder app on your smartphone or tablet, you can access additional material. Night Film is like a spooky B-movie: good enough to scare yourself silly.
Read if you enjoyed: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, Carrie by Stephen King