The BookBrowse Review

Published September 16, 2020

ISSN: 1930-0018

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Contents

In This Edition of
The BookBrowse Review

Highlighting indicates debut books

Editor's Introduction
Reviews
Hardcovers Paperbacks
First Impressions
Latest Author Interviews
Recommended for Book Clubs
Book Discussions

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Novels


Historical Fiction


Short Stories/Essays


Poetry


Mysteries


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Romance


Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Speculative, Alt. History


Biography/Memoir


History, Science & Current Affairs


Travel & Adventure


Young Adults

Novels


Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Speculative, Alt. History


Extras
  • Blog:
    What To Do When Members Come to Book Club Without Reading the Book?
  • Wordplay:
    L N Take I C
  • Book Giveaway:
    Memorial Drive
    by Natasha Trethewey
Book Jacket

The Book of Lamps and Banners
Cass Neary #4
by Elizabeth Hand
29 Sep 2020
352 pages
Publisher: Mulholland
ISBN-13: 9780316485937
Genre: Mysteries
Critics:
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Acclaimed crime writer Elizabeth Hand returns to her "fiercely frightening yet hauntingly beautiful" cult-favorite series: Photographer Cass Neary is hard-up for cash and in more danger than she realizes on the hunt for an ancient, legendary book (Tess Gerritsen).

Photographer Cass Neary is desperate to get home, and she's already lost her camera -- like losing a limb. Now her only chance is to cash in on a deal that a friend is about to cut for a legendary illuminated manuscript: The Book of Lamps and Banners. Rumored to have been rescued from the Library at Alexandria, the Book is said to contain ancient esoteric knowledge, even an otherworldly power.

So when an intruder brazenly steals the manuscript, Cass and her ex-con lover Quinn must get it back--plunging headlong into a shady underworld where antiquarian booksellers, unhinged tech entrepreneurs, and brutal nationalists all converge. This breathless psychological thriller, featuring one of the greatest amateur sleuths of the past decade, could only come from the mind of Elizabeth Hand.

"Cass Neary is a tough, self-destructive character who still exudes compassion, courage, and love for the beauty and the pain of life—even more so because she recognizes its impermanence. Part The Club Dumas, part The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, all punk attitude and beautiful ache." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"A wild ride that defies comparison: pill-popping idealist Cass Neary's obsessive hunt piles on teeth-grinding, story-propelling tension, and Hand's gifted portrayal of subcultures seamlessly links Cass' past in New York's '80s punk scene, London's rare-book dealers, and Odinist neo-Nazis." - Booklist (starred review)

"[E]njoyable if at times overplotted...That this adventure ends for once on a positive note for Cass, who so far has been living on an addict's ragged edge, will please series fans. Newcomers will find this a good entry point." - Publishers Weekly

"I love Cass Neary, the smart, messy, substance-abusing, death-marked ghost of punk. Her latest misadventure is vivid and haunting, braiding the ancient and occult with the unholy frights of the modern world. A thrill ride crackling with sulfurous brilliance." - Steph Cha, author of Your House Will Pay

"The ancient manuscript at the center of The Book of Lamps and Banners is as kaleidoscopic, dark, and mysterious as Hand's amateur sleuth. This novel is a jaw-punch, written with a snarling grace. Cass Neary-the aging punk photographer living within darkest edges of our broken civilization-is my hero. And so is Liz Hand." - Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghost and The Cabin at the End of the World

"It's hard to imagine a more perfect novel than The Book of Lamps and Banners. In her fourth Cass Neary outing, Elizabeth Hand has delivered a startling book that is dirty, wise, aching, and almost magical. Hand expertly marries muscular prose to sophisticated detail, resulting in an enviably smart, fearless novel that conjures demons, evokes an immediate sense of place, and summons the surreal." - Ivy Pochoda, author of These Women

Elizabeth Hand is the author of more than fourteen cross-genre novels and collections of short fiction. Her work has received the Shirley Jackson Award (three times), the World Fantasy Award (four times), the Nebula Award (twice), as well as the James M. Tiptree Jr. and Mythopoeic Society Awards. She's a longtime critic and contributor of essays for the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Salon, Boston Review, and the Village Voice, among many others. She divides her time between the Maine coast and North London.

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