There is no reasonable way to describe this book. I read and really enjoyed Pessl's last book Special Topics in Calamity Physics. I remember there was a lot of backlash after it came out. Apparently, the fact that the author was very young and very pretty had some bearing on people's thoughts about the book. I don't know how that could have detracted from the gold between the covers of that book.
Now, it's been some time since she published another book and I think it was worth the wait. I spent a good deal of time last weekend, curled up in a cozy chair with this book in my hand and my cell phone at the ready. There is an app for the book. It's not just a straight narrative. The books is filled with screen captures of websites, photos, reports and newspaper clippings. On quite a few of these there appears a symbol of a bird stencil. On those pages, you scan the page and get additional content. I get that this seems like such a gimmick, but I felt more a part of the story. That's saying something with a book that so easily draws readers in to the mysteries and the characters that fill it.
This is the story of Scott McGrath, disgraced journalist. In fact, it would seem that 'disgraced journalist' is his new last name. Based on an anonymous phone call about a mysterious cult film director he went a little rogue and wound up sued by the film maker and lost all credibility with members of his field. When 24 year old Ashley Cordova, daughter of the cult director, Stanislas Cordova is found dead from an apparent suicide, McGrath is sucked back in to the one story that ruined him.
I don't know what more I can say without giving away something, or just confusing you. You may think you have it figured out, but there is so much going on here. This is a mystery, a thriller, a love story and the tale of a man seeking redemption. After turning over that last page of the story and closing the cover of this book, you will find your head still filled with all that you've read. There are still so many questions to ponder and information to sort through. I don't remember the last time I had read such an engrossing book. Whenever I had to step away from McGrath and his mystery, it was with regret and I found myself trying desperately to find more time to be fully immersed in the tale.
This is an intricate story. The characters are fascinating and I love the relationship Scott McGrath has with his gang of merry misfits and all of the strange and mysterious people he meets. You never know what's going to happen next, what's waiting for you on the next page, where this is all heading. Did Ashley kill herself? Was she murdered? What is going on up there on the Cordova compound? Everyone has theories about the reclusive director and his family. But, does anyone know the truth?
Read this book. Just read it. You won't be sorry.
Look what I found, a book trailer posted by the author herself: