RogerBW's Blog

Stay, Nicola Griffith 11 June 2020

1999 lesbian noir crime; second in Griffith's series about Aud Torvingen. Still shattered by grief from the loss of her true love, Aud reluctantly goes to New York to look for the missing girlfriend of an old friend.

Even more than The Blue Place, this is a character study of Aud. But because she is comprehensively broken by grief, she doesn't come over as the omnicompetent superheroine of the first book; the story of her starting to put herself back together and realising that she can't quite be the person she was before is more interesting than the story of her being that earlier person.

I mean, yes, there's also a plot; it's just less important than the character. Aud tracks down the missing Tammy, finds out what's happened to her, and gets her out. There's one of those terribly clever sociopaths who are much commoner in stories than in the real world, but rather than having a long cat-and-mouse game of detection as we've seen many times before, something else happens, leaving some very significant loose ends to be tidied up.

Everything is together. That something else happens because of who Aud is at this point. The missing girlfriend is broken too, but in a different way from Aud, so they help each other to recover. (And they don't sleep together; that would be too pat.)

I liked this rather better than the first one, and I liked that quite a bit.

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Previous in series: The Blue Place | Series: Aud Torvingen | Next in series: Always

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