• The Book of Lamps and Banners

  • By: Elizabeth Hand
  • Narrated by: Carol Monda
  • Length: 11 hrs and 2 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (56 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 Cha, author of Your House Will Pay)

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

©2020 Elizabeth Hand (P)2020 Mulholland Books

Critic Reviews

"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)

"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)

"If Dan Brown wrote The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, you'd have something like Elizabeth Hand's The 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 best-selling author of Paradox Bound)

What listeners say about The Book of Lamps and Banners

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I LOVE this series!

Elizabeth Hand is the kind of writer who can show you the world through whatever lens she chooses, and if you're wired for her Cass Neary novels, if you're tuned into the sharp shadows and dim light, then you are in for a deliciously dark treat. Thrillers bordering on horror, touched with ethereal descriptions. Black magic hidden in the wings of ravens and in the hearts of each character. THE BOOK OF LAMPS AND BANNERS continues Cass's saga through the desolation of the northern Atlantic, and for me, as a reader, it's as if this series is written in code that connects directly to my heart. It's a wild ride, and a huge step above and beyond the average cop or detective thriller you might be growing tired of.

This one's a keeper, no doubt. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

6 people found this helpful

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Love this dark and addictive series

Loved this gritty, noir thriller! I downed the four book series faster than Cass Neary goes through whiskey and speed. Other reviews I read mention that these books are not for everyone, but if you sync with the atmosphere of the first book (Generation Loss, and I strongly recommend reading them in order), buckle up for a wild ride!! Cass Neary is continuously on the run and somehow one step ahead of her demons. Narrator Carol Monda perfectly embodies Cass. I usually weary of unreliable narrators but am now addicted to this one.

3 people found this helpful

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Not enjoyable or captivating

There is a LOT of nothing in this book: excruciating descriptions of the pages of the book that not even on my best days I could visualize; repeating statements making me feel that I, the reader, is the junkie and endless descriptions of places, landscapes and memories that itched me to fast forward. The main plot is interesting but I would have enjoyed the story if there were at least 30 chapters less. BTW, Cass is not a Sherlock Holmes.. she is just lucky if one can even call her that.

1 person found this helpful

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I tried but I did not like this book

In my opinion, the main character was so unlikable it made it difficult to form an emotional connection. This book is very dark and the story is really not thrilling or exciting. I was relived when the audible book ended.

1 person found this helpful

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not interesting

DNF. I listened to the audible production of “The Book of Lamps and Banners” by Elizabeth Hand, narrated by Carol Monda for 2 ½ hours. I wanted to exchange the title, but could not. I’m not sure if it was the narrator or the book itself, but I could not get involved.

1 person found this helpful

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"Sit down and read the series"

Like I've said, Sit, Ride a bike, Go for a walk. the series of books that she has written my God, she puts you another world, if your like me she has the ability of writing so well that you actually see it in your mind frame by frame. This makes her story's so much more that words. you throw in some truth here and there along with the fiction makes for a good read or in this case a listen. available dark was the first book I read of the series I couldn't get enough and still can't. I hope and pray that she brings another one out I know you working on it Elizabeth, you have to be. Your books grab me by my ass and you can't stop, and I don't want too. Thank you for the time you spent on these books. We all Love You.
Ronny's Place........

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Dark

The Cass Neary stories are wonderful for those who enjoy morally ambiguous characters with complicated lives and hidden agendas. I really love Elizabeth Hand’s work,

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Cass in love

Cass is on another adventure and starts her quest as her usual irresponsible, sex having, drug using, boozing and thieving self. Then she meets back up with her long lost love and turns into a mushy, insecure girl. Blech. She goes from Fired Up, Ready to go (go snooping, stealing, snorting, popping, kicking with her steel toe boots, etc) to someone else. She's lost without her camera and seems to see the horrible word differently without the distance a lense provides.
I hate when a friend gets into a relationship and changes. Fingers crossed that she gets herself together and gets back to wrecking unethical and illegal havoc in the next book.
As always, Monda's voice is like butter.