Stanislas Cordova is a reclusive filmmaker who plumbs the "dark crags and muck of human desire and longing" in his underground movies--his 'night films'. He hasn't been seen in public in over three decades, but he has a strong cult following. Now his 24-year-old daughter, Ashley, is dead from an apparent suicide. Ashley was beautiful and enigmatic and a musical prodigy; so why did she kill herself? And how and where did she spend the last ten days of her life?
Journalist Scott McGrath decides to investigate father and daughter. But looking too closely at Cordova can be dangerous; his life is as dark as his films, the truth about him elusive. And Ashley is just as great a mystery. The last person to see her alive, a homeless hatcheck girl named Nora, joins Scott's investigation, as does a young drug dealer named Hopper, who has his own secret connection to Ashley. In the course of the investigation, as McGrath peels away the layers surrounding Cordova and his daughter and edges closer and closer to the truth, he definitely looks into the abyss. And the abyss looks back at him.
I liked this book, all 500-plus pages of it. It's a well-written mystery, not too graphic or gory, with a touch of the occult and a mixed-media twist: there are photocopies of police reports, images from websites, photos, and newspaper clippings. It's like you're part of the investigation. I just wish there'd been more of the mixed-media aspect throughout the entire novel than there was. But that's my only complaint with this psychological thriller.
And, as a bookish bonus, this book fills another category for me in the What's in a Name 2014 Reading Challenge. (That's 3 books read; 2 more to go!) Category completed with this book: Read a book that has a reference to time in its title.