Available Dark by Elizabeth Hand

Author: Elizabeth Hand
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Format: Paperback
Genre: Mystery


Photographer Cass Neary is already wanted by the police for questioning when she receives a mysterious job offer that sends her to Helsinki, where an iconic fashion photographer shows her a trove of gorgeous photos depicting ritual killings. After narrowly escaping death herself, Cass flees to Iceland, where she finds a former lover and a legendary, exiled musician. Soon, unsolved murders are multiplying faster than Cass can run.


I love a good thriller and murder mystery as much as the next reader, however, Available Dark is neither. And I certainly don’t know about scaring the dickens out of you, as quoted by Tess Gerritsen on the cover. Really? A good ghost story might have scared me once upon a time. Available Dark does little in the way of scare unless you are scared by the great unwashed who populate the dark underbelly on the fringe of society, self-absorbed in their own bellybuttons and obsessed by all things surrounding murder and grisly deaths.

If you love the kind of devolved sketchy characters that live on drugs, lying, alcohol and who hang out for the entire length of a novel with said underbelly, tripping from one skewed desperate situation to another, then maybe this is for you.

Love Death Metal and constant descriptions of bad weather and dismembered bodies, desperate people hovering on the psychotic, living in a world that only just borders reality, fine, you’ll probably love the flaky character of Cass Neary tripping along in Available Dark. I didn’t.

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