Available Dark by Elizabeth Hand
When talking about the first book in this series the author described her main character Cassandra Neary as a “prototypical amoral speedfreak crankhead kleptomaniac murderous rage-filled alcoholic bisexual heavily tattooed American female photographer.” I couldn’t have described her any better myself. Often compared to Lisbeth Salander in reviews, Cass Neary is about as prickly a personality and even harder to like.
I didn’t read the first book in the series, but circumstances which happened in Maine that resulted in the murder of at least one person, are making Cass uneasy and wanting to leave New York City. When she receives an offer of a lot of money to authenticate some murderabilia (photographs and other mementos from dead, murdered or murdering individuals) she hops on a plane to Helsinki. The pictures are at once gruesome and gorgeous and horrifically real. Who are the dead people in the photographs? Who killed them? Who is killing anyone who knows about these photos? Will Cassandra be next?
From the frigid streets of Helsinki to the barren landscape of Iceland, Cassandra pops pills, snorts crank and drinks Brennivin trying to keep awake, alert and away from withdrawal to face the dangers all around her.