The Book of Lamps and Banners


By Elizabeth Hand

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$17.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around September 29, 2020. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

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.
"Kaleidoscopic, dark, and mysterious . . . This novel is a jaw-punch, written with a snarling grace." — Paul Tremblay, author of The Cabin at the End of the World

“I love Cass Neary . . . . Her latest misadventure is vivid and haunting, braiding the ancient and occult with the unholy frights of the modern world.” ―Steph Chaauthor of Your House Will Pay

"Elizabeth Hand has delivered a startling book that is dirty, wise, aching, and almost magical."Ivy Pochodaauthor of These Women


  • “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
  • “Cass Neary is a remarkable heroine. As with Sherlock Holmes, her power lies in the act of seeing what ordinary people cannot, only where Holmes brings clues to light, Neary is content to linger in the dark. Her eye catches the liminal spaces between clarity and shadow so well I found myself rereading passages for the beauty of her way of seeing.”
    New York Times Book Review
  • "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 Ghosts and The Cabin atthe 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
  • "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)
  • "What a story! Powered by pure adrenaline and excitement, engrossing and yet human to the core—Elizabeth Hand has written a barn burner of a thriller. What a delight." 
    Rene Denfeld, author of The Child Finder
  • “A propulsive exploration of obsession and addiction.”
    Sarah Weinman, The Crime Lady
  • "Picture The Maltese Falcon, but instead of a black bird, there's an ancient and mystic manuscript, and instead of a private eye with a code, there's an aging punk photographer amped up on booze and speed. Elizabeth Hand's genre mash-up is a dizzying ride."
    Peter Swanson, author of Eight Perfect Murders
  • "If Dan Brown wrote TheGirl With the Dragon Tattoo, you'd have something like Elizabeth Hand'sThe Book of Lamps and Banners. A tight, gritty page-turner that gnaws at your fingertips and gets under your skin -- the best kind of addiction."
    Peter Clines, New York Times bestselling author of Paradox Bound
  •  “Brilliantly entertaining and surprisingly heart-wrenching . . . Pure triumph, from end to end."
    Gemma Files, author of Experimental Film
  • “Enjoyable . . . The action hurtles toward an exciting climax on an island off the Swedish coast. 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
  • "With each new book, Elizabeth Hand's great creation Cass Neary grows more complex, and fascinating. She's tough, smart, f*cked up. And I love her. If you've been following her since Generation Loss, you already know all this. If you haven't, read this book."
    Ellen Datlow, winner of the HorrorWriters' Association and World Fantasy Life Achievement Awards
    "Nerve-jangling and addictive.... With Cass--relentless in her dangerous curiosity, her ruthless art of survival--Hand has created an anti-hero for the ages. We'd follow her anywhere, into any glittery abyss, and do."
    Megan Abbott, author of Dare Me
  • "I love Elizabeth Hand's Cass Neary novels -- they're tough-minded, beautifully written, and unique. One of the best series out there."
    Jeff VanderMeer, author of Dead Astronauts
  • "Fiercely frightening yet hauntingly beautiful, with a startling heroine you'll never forget.... I've long been a fan of Elizabeth Hand's amazing books, and once again she proves why she is truly a writer's writer, her prose so glowing it makes all the rest of us jealous."
    Tess Gerritsen, author of the Rizzoli & Isles series
  • "Elizabeth Hand's Cass Neary novels, rightly praised for their icy tension and remarkable darkness, are threaded, like the best of punk in any medium, on a bloodied yet admirably stubborn humanism."
    William Gibson, author of Neuromancer
  • "Intense and atmospheric.... An inventive brew of postpunk attitude and dark mystery. Elizabeth Hand writes with craftsmanship and passion." 
    George Pelecanos, author of The Man Who Came Uptown

On Sale
Sep 29, 2020
Page Count
8 pages
Mulholland Books

Elizabeth Hand

About the Author

Elizabeth Hand is the author of more than fifteen 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.

Learn more about this author