An April night in Atlanta between thunderstorms: dark and warm and wet, sidewalks shiny with rain and slick with torn leaves and fallen azalea blossoms.
–Nicola Griffith - The Blue Place - c. 2007, 1998
When you read that a series of books are “brilliant and heartbreaking and made of awesome sauce and everybody should read them but go into them blind or you won’t get their full impact” (MartinWisse on Metafilter) well then you simply have to give the first book a try, don’t you?
Well, I did and I have to agree with MartinWisse after just reading the first book in the series. In The Blue Place we are introduced to Aud Torvingen, an ex-police officer, the daughter of a Norwegian diplomat and an American father. Someone who grew up in England but is so very Norwegian. A woman who knows danger and violence and who always plays to win.
I just loved this book. Aud is such a great character. I’ve skimmed through a few reviews on Goodreads1 and I just can’t get over how many people dismissing this as a “lesbian romance”, I mean, yes Aud is a lesbian. And there is romance, so both of those words are accurate and true. But would you usually describe James Bond as a straight romantic hero? I mean, he always gets the girl, doesn’t he? And that aspect is usually quite important in the story. But we never do, do we? Straight male authors who pursue a romantic storyline never get dismissed as just a romance. So why do so many people seem to do that when it is a female lead?
I will allow that this is more of a character study than a plot driven thriller or mystery. But I am perfectly fine with that. More character than plot is a plus for me. Your reading may vary.
I loved it and will be reading the sequel soon.
I only do this after I finish a book. So much spoiler-danger if you do it before ↩