Thursday, July 05, 2012

Books: Available Dark by Elizabeth Hand

Available Dark: A Crime NovelAvailable Dark: A Crime Novel by Elizabeth Hand

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cassandra Neary is an old-school hand on the New York City punk rock scene and a photographer of some reputation.  After running into some trouble in Maine, she is looking to make an escape from her crowded New York City apartment when an unexpected offer arrives. Receiving an invitation from an enigmatic man in Helsinki who wants her to authenticate some photographs before he purchases them, she is soon on her way to Finland to meet a reclusive photographer whose pictures of dead people have an alluring if repulsive beauty to them. After she vouches for the photos, she leaves for Iceland on the trail of an old lover who may be living there. Things take a turn for the worse as the Finnish photographer and his assistant are murdered, and Cassandra is being stalked by a sinister man in Reykjavik. Chased and hounded around the island nation, Cassandra must find the killer and the connection to the macabre photographs she traveled to see. This was quite an atmospheric thriller, moodily taking shape in the dark of the Scandinavian winter. Music plays a key role to the plot, whether the punk rock of Cassandra’s youth or the message laden death-metal that links the other players in this drama. The characters were drawn well, and this dark book looks at the underside of the music and art scene where danger lurks and all is not as it seems. Available Dark: A Crime Novel -

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