The Book of the Most Precious Substance

Sara Gran

A book with all of life’s answers, if only you can find it…

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Rare book dealer Lily Albrecht has just been given a tip-off about The Book of the Most Precious Substance, a 17th century manual rumoured to be the most powerful occult book ever written, if it really exists at all.

With some of the wealthiest people in the world willing to pay Lily a fortune to track it down, she embarks on a journey from New York to New Orleans to Munich to Paris.

If she finds it, Lily stands to gain more than just money. This could erase the greatest tragedy of her life. But will Lily’s quest help her find some answers, or will she lose everything in search of a ghost?

Critic Reviews

A sensational occult thriller. Gran's writing is palpably seductive - like Lily Albrecht, readers have little choice but to follow the book to its sinister conclusion.

New York Times
Critic Reviews

Extravagant, sexy and compelling, I loved it.

LAUREN BEUKES, author of The Shining Girls
Critic Reviews

A mesmerizing biblio-mystery [and] a profound and magical reckoning with loss and the possibility of going on. She has outdone herself.

Publisher's Weekly, Starred Review
Critic Reviews

This is an astonishingly good literary thriller, subversive, sexy and written with huge heart. I loved it to bits.

DOUG JOHNSTONE, author of The Great Silence
Critic Reviews

There’s two types of magic at play, here. There’s what these characters are trying to do, mixing books and sex and spells, and then there’s the magic Sara Gran is doing to us, as we compulsively read this literary thriller. And there’s a third magic we only wish we could do: pay in blood to go back, read this book again for the first time.

STEPHEN GRAHAM JONES, author of The Only Good Indian
Critic Reviews

The Book Of The Most Precious Substance is a mix of book buying mystery, erotica, and a pinch of Clive Barkerian obsessive existential horror, but it’s all Gran. And it’s all brilliant.

PAUL TREMBLAY, author of The Cabin in the Woods

Sara Gran is the author of six previous novels, including Come Closer and her acclaimed crime series starring PI Claire DeWitt. She also writes for film and TV, including ‘Southland’ and ‘Chance’, and has published in The New York Times, The New Orleans Times Picayune, and USA Today.

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