Originally published 2015-10-21: The Blue Place by Nicole Griffith | Book Review Wednesday
Sometimes when I’m reading a book, I find myself salivating.
Did that sound weird? What I mean is that these certain books have so much to offer in lush, vibrant description — language that speaks to me somewhere deep inside my emotional core — that I almost want to devour it. The Blue Place by Nicola Griffith gave me all that and more.
A police lieutenant with the elite “Red Dogs” until she retired at twenty-nine, Aud Torvigen is a rangy six-footer with eyes the color of cement and a tendency to hurt people who get in her way.
On a humid April evening between storms, out walking just to stay sharp, she turns a corner and collides with a running woman. Catching the scent of clean, rain-soaked hair, Aud nods and silently tells the stranger, Today, you are lucky, and moves on—when behind her a house explodes, incinerating its sole occupant, a renowned art historian. When Aud turns back, the woman is gone.
Provocative, to say the least.
My wife highly recommended this book to me, and I can see why. Griffith has a singular command of the language that makes the pages turn almost of their own accord.
I don’t know much about Norway or Norwegians, but the detail in this book is abundant. It seemed to me that Griffith either spent a lot of time in Norway, did a year’s worth of research, or covered it up in such a way that I didn’t even question the authenticity of the information. Either way, it enriches the book tremendously.
The only problem I had with the book was that it seemed to be quite a slow burner. Day after day, my wife asked me how far I was, and how I enjoyed it. I always said I loved it, getting closer to the end by the day, but… nothing’s happening.
I expected more action. The action that was in The Blue Place was quick, methodical, and left me with my mouth hanging open. Aud Torvingen is truly a machine where violence is concerned. Cool, crisp, and laser-precise, she would be a real match for any assassin you can throw at her.
That being said, the last quarter of the book had me riveted. I didn’t want to put it down. I give this one a solid 3.75 of five stars, and recommend it to anyone who enjoys LGBT novels that aren’t centered around relationships, but still have that love component threaded throughout.
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