HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Available Dark: A Crime Novel by Elizabeth…
Loading...

Available Dark: A Crime Novel (edition 2012)

by Elizabeth Hand

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1301092,561 (3.64)15
Member:Nightwing
Title:Available Dark: A Crime Novel
Authors:Elizabeth Hand
Info:Minotaur Books (2012), Hardcover, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

Available Dark by Elizabeth Hand

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 15 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Trying to evade trouble she stirred up in Maine (in the novel Generation Loss), Cass Neary accepts a shady job to evaluate some photographs of questionable subject matter in Finland. Just before she is about to leave, she receives from Iceland a photo she took of a long-ago boyfriend, so she goes there next to track him down. And then the murders begin.

As in Generation Loss, this sequel puts Cass in an isolated, desolate setting, the exterior landscape reflecting the interior character. However, this novel is different in tone: less gothic, more noir, with a touch of the weird as it relates to Norse mythology. The writing is good and carries the reader along, Cass is still an intriguing antihero of a character, but the mystery is more straightforward and less surprising here, although some of the business related to Odinists and heavy metal music lost me. I've enjoyed these two thrillers and will probably get around to reading the last in the trilogy. ( )
  sturlington | May 7, 2017 |
My 2 star rating of Available Dark" is probably not fair. It's the first Elizabeth Hand book I have read and perhaps all of her books dwell on similar themes and story lines - very noir, Finland and Iceland in the winter (how much darker can you get?), vinyl recordings of heavy metal back to its earliest days, gruesome photos of dead people, and some equally gruesome violence in the story. There are some readers who will really appreciate Hand's skills and/or who have an interest in such photos and music; I am not one of them and regret having read this. This is not a book to be bought on a whim nor if you are into more traditional crime fiction. Research thoroughly before committing your money and time. ( )
  maneekuhi | Jun 9, 2016 |
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 Finland and Iceland, as Cass Neary, leaving her New York City home before Maine law enforcement can question her more closely about events in the earlier novel, accepts a dodgy commission by a sinister Norwegian nightclub owner. He wants some “esoteric” photographic prints authenticated. They turn out to be beautifully composed crime scene photos, the secret, early art of a now famous fashion photographer.

There’s more weirdness as Cass seems, as the novel progresses, to be more than just a “amoral speedfreak crankhead kleptomaniac murderous rage-filled alcoholic bisexual heavily-tattooed” photographer of the damaged, dead, and dying. She has a wyrd and a purpose.

No American hippies here cooking up their homemade occultism in a Maine commune. The menace and mystery of the novel is both more ancient but also more modern as Hand shows Scandinavians trying, with murder, music, drugs, and desperation to come to grips with old and new chaos brought to their land by foreigners. In an Iceland reeling from the black swans of economic derivatives (though there are no scenes with the Viking Squad), Hand gives us bleak beauty (and a chance for Cass to put her practical knowledge of street drugs to good use).

To top it off, Cass hears, for the first time in over thirty years, from her old boyfriend, Quinn. He was the center of numinous attraction for the teenaged Cass. The back story of her relationship with Quinn is one of the reasons I’d advise reading Generation Loss first though it’s not absolutely required.

Definitely recommended for those who like their crime stories mixed with something unearthly. ( )
2 vote RandyStafford | Jun 28, 2015 |
"Fresh Meat" by Victoria Janssen for Criminal Element

I’m familiar with Elizabeth Hand’s dark fantasy novels, so I was excited to see how her writing translated into another genre. I have not yet read Generation Loss, her first thriller, but its sequel Available Dark shows that whether she’s writing fantasy or mystery, the essence of Hand’s writing remains rich and complex like the best coffee. The thriller made me think one of her dark fantasies had been dosed with amphetamines.

As well as an exciting, gruesome thriller, Available Dark is a mediation on noir, in which moral boundaries are smeared and blended. The protagonist, photographer Cassandra Neary, is even more morally compromised than most noir heroes. She came of age in the punk era and was briefly famous for her only published book of photos, Dead Girls, but since then has been on a downward slide fueled by drugs and loss; she notes that after her single success, her whole life has been “aftermath.”

Read the rest at http://www.criminalelement.com/blogs/2012/02/fresh-meat-available-dark-by-elizab...
1 vote CrimeHQ | Apr 11, 2013 |
While still hugely dark and gritty, I don't think this was as raw as Generation Loss. (Which I'm okay with, honestly. Generation Loss fucked me up for a week.) I'm not sure if it's the book, though, or the fact that I'm familiar enough with Odinist death metal symbolism to be pretty unsurprised by almost everything that turned out happening?... ( )
  jen.e.moore | Mar 30, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
On the surface, the American writer Elizabeth Hand sounds disturbingly like Cass Neary, her central character in Available Dark. Both women are tall, slim, blonde and 55. Both grew up on punk culture, and both present themselves in a kind of outlaw style. Hand favours tattoos, the skin on her left arm vanishing under skeins of ink that portray figures not quite decipherable in the bare-armed photos of her on the Internet.

But there has to be a limit to the similarities. After all, Neary comes across in Available Dark as reckless, arrogant and somewhat self-destructive. Surely that can’t describe Hand, as well. And, according to an interview Hand gave not long ago, it doesn’t. Not quite. Neary, Hand says, “is me if my brake lines had been cut.” In writing about Neary, Hand says she was “channeling the worst possible version of myself.”

Hand is a sharply observant writer. Most of her work has been done in the fantasy end of science fiction, and her nine fantasy novels have won her much more than cult popularity. When the World Fantasy Convention gathers next November at Toronto’s Sheraton Parkway Hotel, Hand will appear as the Guest of Honour.

Her two departures from fantasy into crime fiction occur in books featuring Cass Neary. First came Generation Loss in 2007, and now Available Dark. Neary, who depends on Jack Daniels and prescription brands of speed to keep functioning, is a New York art photographer. She’s the old-fashioned kind, no digital for her, which means she gets little work. But she’s much respected for her taste in avant garde photography, and at the beginning of the new book, a Norwegian collector hires her to authenticate six pictures he intends to buy for big bucks from a prominent Finnish photographer.

The book’s first 100 pages, as Neary stokes herself on booze and pills and flies to Helsinki, are brilliant and exhilarating. Readers learn all kinds of fascinating stuff about photography and somewhat less fabulous stuff about black metal rock. The rest of the book gets closer to routine as characters connected to the photographs are murdered, and the scene shifts to Iceland. That’s where Neary goes to look up her boyfriend of 30 years earlier. The mystery and threat of the Helsinki killings seems to follow.

The narrative may lose steam, but Neary remains a riveting figure to whom dreadful things just naturally happen. She suffers more concussions than Sidney Crosby, and is dumped in Iceland’s winter wilderness without hat, gloves or coat. Neary survives, just barely, which is something else she has in common with Elizabeth Hand. Hand has explained in interviews that, at age 21, she was abducted and raped, leaving her “with vast reservoirs of rage and fear.”
added by VivienneR | editThe Toronto Star, Jack Batten (May 5, 2012)
 
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Information from the Russian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Epigraph
All those young photographers who are at work in the world, determined upon the capture of actuality, do not know that they are agents of Death.

Camera Lucida, Roland Barthes, translated by Richard Howard
Domine, libera nos a furore normannorum.

—Medieval prayer
Dedication
For Russell Dunn, 1958-2011,
soul mate, true artist, and fellow traveler in Reykjavík,
with love always
First words
There had been more trouble, as usual.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Elizabeth Hand's writing honors include the Shirley Jackson Award, the James Tiptree Award, the Nebula Award, the World Fantasy Award, the International Horror Guild Award, and many others. Now this uniquely gifted storyteller brings us a searing and iconoclastic crime novel in which photographer Cass Neary, introduced in the underground classic Generation Loss, finds herself drawn into the shadowy world of crime in Scandinavia's coldest corners.

As this riveting tour de force opens, the police already want to talk to Cass about a mysterious death she was involved with previously, but before they can bring her in, she accepts a job offer from overseas and hops on a plane.

In Helsinki, she authenticates a series of disturbing but stunning images taken by a famous fashion photographer who has cut himself off from the violent Nordic music scene where he first made his reputation. Paid off by her shady employer, she buys a one-way ticket to Reykjavik, in search of a lover from her own dark past.

But when the fashion photographer's mutilated corpse is discovered back in Finland, Cass finds herself sucked into a vortex of ancient myth and betrayal, vengeance and serial murder, set against a bone-splintering soundtrack of black metal and the terrifying beauty of the sunless Icelandic wilderness.

In this eagerly awaited sequel to the award-winning Generation Loss, Cass Neary finds her own worst fears confirmed — it's always darkest before it turns completely black.

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312585942, Hardcover)

“A skin-blistering crime novel, as edgy and black as dried blood on a moonlit night.”

--Robert Crais

 

Elizabeth Hand’s writing honors include the Shirley Jackson Award, the James Tiptree Award, the Nebula Award, the World Fantasy Award, the International Horror Guild Award, and many others. Now, this uniquely gifted storyteller brings us a searing and iconoclastic crime novel, in which photographer Cass Neary, introduced in the underground classic Generation Loss, finds herself drawn into the shadowy world of crime in Scandinavia’s coldest corners.

 

As this riveting tour-de-force opens, the police already want to talk to Cass about a mysterious death she was involved with previously, but before they can bring her in, Cass accepts a job offer from overseas and hops on a plane.

 

In Helsinki, she authenticates a series of disturbing but stunning images taken by a famous fashion photographer who has cut himself off from the violent Nordic music scene where he first made his reputation.  Paid off by her shady employer, she buys a one-way ticket to Reykjavik, in search of a lover from her own dark past.

 

But when the fashion photographer’s mutilated corpse is discovered back in Finland, Cass finds herself sucked into a vortex of ancient myth and betrayal, vengeance and serial murder, set against a bone-splintering soundtrack of black metal and the terrifying beauty of the sunless Icelandic wilderness.  In this eagerly awaited sequel to the award-winning Generation Loss, Cass Neary finds her own worst fears confirmed: it’s always darkest before it turns completely black.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:54 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Fleeing for her life after she is shown photographs of ritual killings during a mysterious job in Helsinki, Cass Neary encounters a former lover and exiled musician in Iceland only to be inundated by a series of unsolved murders.

(summary from another edition)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
2 avail.
14 wanted

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.64)
0.5
1 1
1.5 1
2 2
2.5 2
3 5
3.5 6
4 15
4.5 4
5 4

Minotaur Books

An edition of this book was published by Minotaur Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 114,479,406 books! | Top bar: Always visible