This was another two birds with one stone book. I needed a murder mystery for my 2016 book challenge, and it was also one a friend recommended. Technically, this book starts with a suicide and the rest of the book is figuring out if it really was a suicide or if it was murder (no spoilers) but let’s just saying I’m counting the book as a murder mystery based on the actual death and mystery aspect of it.
The story follows a reporter’s journey to uncover the truth about Ashley Cordova’s suicide. Ashley is the daughter of a famous reclusive director, Stanislas Cordova, a bit of Roman Polanski, Stanley Kubrick, and David Lynch all combined. Cordova gave one interview to Rolling Stone and has been in hiding for over 30 years. His daughter, Ashley, is a gifted pianist who kills herself at the young age of 24.
The reporter has a previous tie to the director and is naturally curious whether or not Ashley killed herself. Given the mystery and secrecy of Cordova, the fact that people close to him keep disappearing, and the story of Ashley slowly uncovered starts to lead the reporter down a path towards the occult, it makes perfect sense that a suicide is too easy of an answer.
The best part about this book is the multimedia experience. There are newspaper articles, internet pages, medical reports, etc all within the book. You can also download an app (which I did not, but only because I didn’t know about it until I finished reading) to “unlock exclusive multimedia content” (from http://marishapessl.com/decoder-app)
The story takes you on more twists and turns than most books, but you are never left hanging about the events. I’m not a big fan of stories that revolve around the occult, but this one really kept me hooked.