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Alwaysby Nicola Griffith
Synopses & Reviews
Aud Torvingen is back — contemporary fiction's toughest, most emotionally complicated noir hero returns to teach a new round of lessons in hard-hitting justice, and to confront new adversaries: her own vulnerability and desire.
The steely shell of Nicola Griffith's seemingly indomitable protagonist Aud Torvingen appears to be cracking. The six-foot-tall fury (who proved in The Blue Place and Stay that she can kill you as easily as look at you) is shaken by the shocking consequences of the self-defense class she's been teaching, and her investigation of what seems to be run-of-the-mill real-estate fraud is turning out to be more than she bargained for.
Always brilliantly intertwines the dramatic episodes of Aud's class with the increasingly complicated investigation that introduces Aud to the limits of self-reliance, and to the scary and beautiful prospect of allowing oneself to depend on other people. What emerges is a thrilling, thoroughly engrossing novel that imbues Griffith's "classic noir hero" (The New York Times Book Review) with an emotional complexity that far exceeds the boundaries of the genre, and will push Griffith to her well-deserved place at the front rank of new-wave literary crime writers.
"At the start of Griffith's intense third thriller to star Aud Torvingen (after The Blue Place and Stay), the stylish half-American, half-Norwegian lesbian ex-cop and self-defense teacher is still grieving over the shooting death of her lover, Julia, a year earlier. Also distraught over a recent violent incident involving one of her self-defense students, Aud welcomes the chance to leave Atlanta, accompanied by her friend, Matthew Dornan, to visit her ambassador mother, Else, in Seattle. There sabotage of a TV pilot in production that's been receiving OSHA and EPA complaints disrupts their vacation. Adding romantic tension is Victoria 'Kick' Kuiper, a caterer and former stuntwoman, to whom both Aud and Matthew are attracted. Aud's ace investigation reveals political and environmental chicanery, but more importantly, leads to a surprising lesson about love. Lucid prose and great self-defense lessons are a plus." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Fist-slamming physicality is beautifully balanced with raised emotional stakes as Griffith dares to take her lethally forceful heroine to a new level." Booklist
"[A] stellar example of mood and tone working to engage the reader one page at a time. Highly recommended." Library Journal
From cult phenomenon to award-winning literary sensation, "the sexiest action figure since James Bond" (Seattle Weekly) returns in an exhilarating new thriller.
It doesn't matter how well trained you are, how big, how fast, how strong; there will always be someone out there bigger or faster or stronger. Always.
That's what Aud Torvingen teaches the students in her self-defense class. But the question is whether Aud really believes this lesson herself-and if not, what it will take for her to learn it.
Aud has trained herself to achieve a fierce, machine-like precision, in hand-to-hand combat as well as life. But in Always she is abruptly confronted with the limits of her own power. Her self-defense classes spin violently out of her grasp and, still reeling from the consequences, she embarks on a seemingly simple investigation of Seattle real estate fraud that pulls her into something far more complicated and dangerous than she had imagined.
Aud Torvingen--Sa hero who makes La Femme Nikita look like a Powerpuff GirlS ("Details")--returns to teach a new round of lessons in hard-hitting justice and to confront new adversaries: her own vulnerability and desire.
About the Author
Nicola Griffith is the author of Stay, The Blue Place, Slow River, and Ammonite and has won the Nebula Award, the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, and multiple Lambda Literary Awards. She is also the coeditor of the Bending The Landscape anthology series. At various times she has worked as a self-defense instructor, a rock-and-roll singer, a social worker, a teacher, and a laborer. Born in England, she now lives in Seattle with her partner.
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