"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." (Francis Bacon)

Friday, December 05, 2008


TITLE: Always
AUTHOR: Nicola Griffith

Third book in the Aud Torvingen trilogy. Previously, Aud, a one-time cop and now investigator, fell in love with Julia, only to lose her to a bullet. After mourning her lost love, Aud is ready to move on with her life, but of course, nothing is easy. In this book, two stories are told concurrently, one in the recent past when a tragic event mars the self-defense class she's teaching in Atlanta that shakes her confidence, and the present, when she checks out some property she owns in Seattle and drags her friend Dornan along, where they encounter the movie crew that is renting Aud's warehouse.

The film is being sabotaged and in trying to discover why, Aud uncovers a real estate scam. This book is the longest of the three, partly to cover the two storylines and partly because there is so much detail in this, almost a day-to-day, hour-to-hour accounting. The writing is crisp, the characters fully realized, and Aud is at her best when showing some vulnerability, especially in her reunion with her diplomat mother and meeting her mother's new husband. But her budding romance with one-time stuntwoman turned caterer, Kick Kuiper, could be jeopardized by Kick's secret.

Okay, that doesn't sound like much, but forget the plot. It really isn't as important as the journey Aud is on as she learns more about herself, how to rely on others, comes to terms with her mother, and somehow, without realizing it, starts to actually fit in and socialize for the first time in her life, it seems. Aud is a tough female character full of flaws and she's the heart and soul of this book. I enjoy spending time with her and wouldn't mind seeing a fourth book.