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*Starred Review* In this brilliant sequel to Hand’s acclaimed literary thriller, Generation Loss (2007), Cassandra Neary, “a burned out, aging punk with a dead gaze,” who subsists largely on alcohol and speed, confronts darkness nearly beyond her comprehension. Wanted by police for questioning about a death in Maine, she welcomes the opportunity to leave the States to evaluate some photos in Helsinki for a collector. A cult figure for her earlier photography book, Dead Girls, Cass is stunned by five photos of fresh corpses posed to represent Finnish folktale figures and taken by a renowned former fashion photographer known for the flashes of light in his work. But when she goes on to Iceland, on the track of the lover of her teens, Quinn O’Boyle, death seems to follow her, as she learns of the murders of those with whom she associated in Finland. Cass, like this book’s readers, sinks deeper and deeper into the darkness of the unforgiving Nordic winter and the surrounding events, with their throbbing undercurrent of metal music and encroaching atmosphere of old Norse religions. A flash of incandescence counters final threats of death, and the all-encompassing darkness is leavened by a glimmer of hope. Stunning. --Michele Leber
Praise for Available Dark
A hair-raising novel of psychological suspense. This is a series I hope will continue.
The millions who devoured Stieg Larsson's "Millennium" trilogy will not flinch at Hand's dark subject matter... Expect this novel to break out onto best seller lists.
"Cass Neary... makes Lisbeth Salander seem like a model of mental stability... Stunning."
Very, very good…In Hand's thriller, we see what Lisbeth Salander would look like in 30 years, if she were tall, blonde and plausible…Hand is a bonafide literary artist.
"In the spirit of Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo... As the dark Nordic forest thickens, so does the plot. Larsson fanatics may be unable to resist."
"Pulsing with tension throughout… charged with its own chilling luminosity."
"A strong writer. Her studies of artists and musicians are something fierce, and there's a deadly beauty to her bleak rendering of the Nordic landscape."
"Cass Neary could make Lisbeth Salander look like a suburban housewife... A stunning look at a woman forever teetering on the edge."
"Award-winner Hand... brings her great skill to a mystery series that's equally dark and enthralling... Beautiful writing and elegant, intelligent style make this a pleasure."
A gasoline burn of a book; but it's also a tightly-plotted noir thriller...Unputdownable.
A brilliant sequel to Hand's acclaimed literary thriller Generation Loss… Stunning.
Fiercely frightening yet hauntingly beautiful, with a startling heroine you'll never forget… Shimmers with gorgeous writing even as it scares the dickens out of you.
Cass Neary is one of literature's great noir anti-heroes… Ferocious, aching with compassion and cruelly brilliant, Available Dark is a sinful pleasure.
Praise for Generation Loss
Rightly compared with the sort of crime fiction turned out by the late, great Patricia Highsmith ... Hand expertly ratchets up the suspense until it's at the level of a high-pitched scream.
Cass Neary, the battle-scarred shutterbug of Elizabeth Hand's incendiary literary thriller is a marvel.
Brilliantly written and completely original, Hand's novel is an achievement with a capital A.
Praise for Elizabeth Hand's Other Work
A superior stylist.
Hypnotic… Moves Hand's work into the territory of John Fowles and A.S. Byatt.
Elizabeth Hand has the written the best book of her generation.
As noteworthy in its way as Margaret Atwood's A Handmaid's Tale.
This is, except in its villain, is a more satisfying novel than its predecessor, Generation Loss.
There are more bodies, a trail of them across the northern lands of... Read more
I'd have added a fifth and final star to this review had Elizabeth Hand stirred just a bit more plot into this dark, gloomy and yet tasty Nordic stew. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Lee Quarnstrom
I read the book within two days during a short hiking trip to Central France. The plot has indeed a mesmerizing quality that made me keep reading further and further at ungodly... Read morePublished 12 months ago by xi'an
I really wanted to love this book. I'm a photographer who loves Scand-Noir, but after a few initial chapters the book disappointed me. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Mobius Strip
I've been a fan of Elizabeth Hand for many years, so it's hard to present an unbiased view of any of her novels. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Caleb Blake
Reading Cass's story felt like I imagine being spaced on drugs and despair would be. Unreal written so realistically. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Toni Marie Sutliff
Generation Loss is one of my top ten favorite books. Available Dark lives up to the promise of the first book and now can't wait for release of Cass's continuing adventures in... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Sven Davisson
'Generation Loss' was good, this was great. Perhaps it was the change of locale (Finland and Iceland) but the book has a Nordic sensibility that belies the author's American roots. Read morePublished 23 months ago by David Lohmeier
This is the sequel to "Generation Loss" and the story follows almost immediately after. Cass has returned to New York and is confronted with numerous messages from the police,... Read morePublished on July 14, 2013 by Michelle Boytim