The Blue Place

Nicola Griffith, Author Avon Books $23 (308p) ISBN 978-0-380-97446-7
A double Lambda Literary Award winner and recipient of a Tiptree and the Nebula for her two SF novels (Ammonite and Slow River), Griffith switches genres and breathes life into an appealing heroine in this smoothly plotted pulse-slammer. Former undercover cop Aud Torvingen, a young Norwegian woman living in Atlanta, is an expert in self-defense and firearms, obsessed with the adrenaline-charged state she calls the ""blue place."" Only danger makes her feel alive; emotionally, she remains untouched. That changes during a late-night walk when she collides with multilayered trouble in the person of art broker Julia Lyons-Bennett, who happens to be running from the home of art appraiser Jim Lusk moments before a bomb levels it. Julia refuses to believe that she was the intended victim or that the bombing was drug-related, and she hires Aud to investigate. When the trail leads to a money-laundering, double-dealing banker, Aud believes Julia is out of danger but agrees to join her as translator and protector on a business trip to Norway. In Oslo, a resistant Aud gradually opens her heart to this blue-eyed beauty, and during their holiday trip to the fjords she realizes the depth of the passion that links them. But new love has a way of dulling the senses, and when Julia returns alone to Oslo for a day's business, Aud suddenly smells the danger they've been in all along and summons every bit of strength from her ""blue place"" to win a compelling race to save the woman she loves. Readers will want to see more of Aud Torvingen. Agent: Shawna McCarthy; editors: Jennifer Hershey and Charlotte Abbott. (July) FYI: Like her protagonist, Griffith is an expert in women's self-defense.
Reviewed on: 06/29/1998
Release date: 07/01/1998
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