A young man is drawn into the dark side of paradise in this "brilliantly atmospheric" (New York Times Book Review) and "refreshingly creepy" (Washington Post) mystery.
A New York Times Notable Book of 2022
On a whim, Grady Kendall applies to work as a live-in caretaker for a luxury property in Hawaiʻi, as far from his small-town Maine life as he can imagine. Within days he's flying out to an estate on remote Hokuloa Road, where he quickly uncovers a dark side to the island’s idyllic reputation: it has long been a place where people vanish without a trace.
When a young woman from his flight becomes the next to disappear, Grady is determined—and soon desperate—to figure out what's happened to Jessie, and to all those staring out of the island’s “missing" posters. But working with Raina, Jessie’s fiercely protective best friend, to uncover the truth is anything but easy, and with an inexplicable and sinister presence stalking his every step, Grady can only hope he'll find the answer before it's too late.
Perfect for fans of Peter Heller and The White Lotus, and from award-winning writer Elizabeth Hand, a master of crime fiction known for her magnetic characters, seductive prose, and fearless excavations into the darkest corners of our world, comes a chilling and illuminating new novel about a place unlike any other—and the deadly cost of keeping it so.
"Set in a Hawaii so vividly imagined I'm still shaking sand out of my shoes."—Grady Hendrix, New York Times bestselling author of The Final Girl Support Group
“Twisty and dark . . . easily one of the best thrillers I've read.” —Rachel Hawkins, New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Upstairs
“This is the perfect book for your summer beach bag—an evocative mystery set in a tropical island paradise.” —Jason Rekulak, author of Hidden Pictures
About the Author
Elizabeth Hand is the author of more than nineteen cross-genre novels and collections of short fiction, including The Book of Lamps and Banners and Curious Toys. 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.
"Elizabeth Hand’s Hokuloa Road brims with menace: vine-choked cliff-top highways, aviaries filled with strange birds, tanks of poisonous sea urchins . . . Brilliantly atmospheric."—New York Times Book Review
“Over decades, [Hand] has proved that she’s eclectic, genre-bending, and comfortable in fantasy and mystery, crime, myth, magic—and more. In Hokuloa Road, she explores the rich and diverse culture and environment of Hawaii—and seamlessly stitches this fascinating material into a girl-gone-missing story. It’s refreshingly and originally creepy.”—Washington Post
“Elizabeth Hand has been one of my favorite authors since Wylding Hall, so when I opened Hokuloa Road I knew I'd get her signature mix of deeply evocative prose, sinister surroundings, and fascinating characters. I was right, but even as a long time Hand Fan, I was completely blown away by this book. Hokuloa Road is twisty and dark, easily one of the best thrillers I've read, but it's so much more than that, too. It's thoughtful and pensive, smart and scary, and exhilarating as you realize that you're in the hands of a master storyteller. After reading this book, I promise, Elizabeth Hand is going to become one of your favorite authors, too.”—Rachel Hawkins, New York Times bestselling author of Reckless Girls and The Wife Upstairs
"A finely written thriller—a compelling adventure story set in a vivid location." —Wall Street Journal
"Set in a Hawaii so vividly imagined I'm still shaking sand out of my shoes, Elizabeth Hand's perfectly crafted ghost story is exactly the comfort-destroying read you need on a long, lonely night."—Grady Hendrix, New York Times bestselling author of The Final Girl Support Group
“Hand probes dark crevices in beautiful places, and the engrossing . . . Hokuloa Road smoothly incorporates Hawaiian ghost stories and myths into an exciting plot grounded in the natural world.”—Shelf Awareness
“Hand is a master at genre-blending stories that feature carefully dosed supernatural malevolence. Here, she wields that mix of horror and thriller to draw together a cast of sympathetically awkward, fiercely loyal outcasts. Another strange, satisfying winner.” —Booklist (starred review)
“Exciting, rich, thick verisimilitude…But the rest of the majestic allure of the book—which, beside being almost journalistically keen, is rife with thrilling supernatural events—can be traced to Hand’s well-known and previously displayed visionary powers, her remarkable way with words, and her ability to conjure up characters that the reader falls for, then to put them through thrilling events…Swift-moving yet deliberate, establishing thick connections between the natural world and the numinous forces behind it, Hokuloa Road would make a great dramatic TV miniseries. Call it Hawaii-666.”—Locus Magazine
"Hokuloa Road has the power to send a chill down your spine . . . A go-to chilling read, whether it’s hot or cold in your part of the world."—Crime Fiction Lover
“This is the perfect book for your summer beach bag—an evocative mystery set in a tropical island paradise. The locals warn that Hokuloa Road is dangerous, but I was completely enthralled by its scenery and secrets!” —Jason Rekulak, author of Hidden Pictures
“Somehow, Elizabeth Hand has made Hawaii an unsettling destination. A hallmark of greatness, of course, and Hand is full of them. The book is one singular intensification, from apprehension to alarm, seclusion to alienation. You might do worse than to score a caretaker's gig on a gorgeous island, but Hokuloa Road suggests otherwise. Horror fans, be seated.”—Josh Malerman, New York Times bestselling author of Bird Box
"If Lost had been written by Jane and Paul Bowles, with some input from Stephen King, then it might read something like Hokolua Road." —CrimeReads
"Atmospheric . . . Hand neatly balances tense action with rich environmental ambience, and the supernatural with the darkly human. She remains a writer to watch."
Praise for The Book of Lamps and Banners
“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, on The Book of Lamps and Banners
"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."—Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and The Cabin atthe End of the World, on The Book of Lamps and Banners
"It's hard to imagine a more perfect novel than The Book of Lamps and Banners . . . 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, on The Book of Lamps and Banners
“A hair-raising, mind-bending trip… Exquisitely suspenseful, and the paranoia suffusing the story is very much of our present moment.”—BookPage (starred review), on The Book of Lamps and Banners