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Always

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Overview

From cult phenomenon to award-winning literary sensation, "the sexiest action figure since James Bond" (Seattle Weekly) returns in an exhilarating new thriller.

It doesn't matter how well trained you are, how big, how fast, how strong; there will always be someone out there bigger or faster or stronger. Always.

That's what Aud Torvingen teaches the students in her self-defense class. But the question is ...

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Overview

From cult phenomenon to award-winning literary sensation, "the sexiest action figure since James Bond" (Seattle Weekly) returns in an exhilarating new thriller.

It doesn't matter how well trained you are, how big, how fast, how strong; there will always be someone out there bigger or faster or stronger. Always.

That's what Aud Torvingen teaches the students in her self-defense class. But the question is whether Aud really believes this lesson herself-and if not, what it will take for her to learn it.

Aud has trained herself to achieve a fierce, machine-like precision, in hand-to-hand combat as well as life. But in Always she is abruptly confronted with the limits of her own power. Her self-defense classes spin violently out of her grasp and, still reeling from the consequences, she embarks on a seemingly simple investigation of Seattle real estate fraud that pulls her into something far more complicated and dangerous than she had imagined.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

At the start of Griffith's intense third thriller to star Aud Torvingen (after The Blue Placeand Stay), the stylish half-American, half-Norwegian lesbian ex-cop and self-defense teacher is still grieving over the shooting death of her lover, Julia, a year earlier. Also distraught over a recent violent incident involving one of her self-defense students, Aud welcomes the chance to leave Atlanta, accompanied by her friend, Matthew Dornan, to visit her ambassador mother, Else, in Seattle. There sabotage of a TV pilot in production that's been receiving OSHA and EPA complaints disrupts their vacation. Adding romantic tension is Victoria "Kick" Kuiper, a caterer and former stuntwoman, to whom both Aud and Matthew are attracted. Aud's ace investigation reveals political and environmental chicanery, but more importantly, leads to a surprising lesson about love. Lucid prose and great self-defense lessons are a plus. (May)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
The six-foot-tall Norwegian-American protagonist of two previous literary thrillers by Griffith (Stay, 2002, etc.) takes charge again in this complex story about a wealthy, capable woman who lives by her own rules. Former Atlanta police officer Aud Torvingen and close friend Dornan fly to Seattle, where Torvingen must tend to kinks in her local real-estate holdings and meet with her mother, an ambassador visiting Seattle on a diplomatic mission from Norway. Recently remarried (she's long divorced from Torvingen's American father), she seems at peace with her daughter's lesbian lifestyle, but the two women are still unable to communicate. Soon Torvingen finds herself enmeshed in the affairs of an independent film company shooting out of a warehouse she owns. An incident on the set with potentially deadly consequences forces her to rely on her mother and to wonder who-or what-stands behind the escalating string of disasters plaguing the production's progress. Never content to let things resolve on their own, Torvingen works to expose a complicated and sometimes difficult-to-follow scheme that affects both her private and professional lives. Investigating the seamier side of high-stakes real estate, she finds herself drawn to another woman as she hasn't been since the death of her lover. The action in Seattle grows darker and more complicated. A subplot centering around the women's self-defense class Torvingen taught in Atlanta before leaving for the Northwest, though interesting, tends to muddy the main story line. Stark but sensuous writing and a lesbian angle played for emotion over sex propel this strong narrative to its conclusion. Agent: Shawna McCarthy/The McCarthy Agency
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594489358
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/3/2007
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Nicola Griffith: a native of Yorkshire, England, now a dual US/UK citizen. Author of six novels (Ammonite, Slow River, The Blue Place, Stay, Always, Hild) and a multi-media memoir (And Now We Are Going to Have a Party: Liner notes to a writer's early life). Co-editor of the Bending the Landscape series of original queer f/sf/h stories. Essayist. Teacher. Blogger. Winner of the Nebula, Tiptree, World Fantasy, and 6 Lambda Literary Awards. (Also a BBC poetry prize, some Gaylactic Spectrum awards, the Premio Italia, the Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize, and others.) Wife of writer Kelley Eskridge (and co-owner of Sterling Editing). Nicola lives in Seattle, where she occasionally emerges from the seventh century to drink just the right amount of beer and take enormous delight in everything.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 12 of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    superb crime thriller

    Norwegian Aud Torvingen was born into a life of wealth and privilege. The former police officer gives back to the community by teaching women self-defense. The new women in her latest course cross all social and financial lines so that a southern society belle is on an even footing with a housewife. The women savor each other¿s triumphs until one day one of them has to put into practice what she learned. --- After dealing with officials following the woman¿s act, Aud flies to Seattle where she owns property that she must clean up as her property manager violated OSHA and EPA rules. The woman was stealing from Aud¿s account pretending to fix things while pocketing the money and forcing tenants to move out quickly. Aud tries to buy land on either side of her warehouse. Her warehouse is currently rented by a movie company that is plagued by incidents threatening to bankrupt the company. As Aud cleans up the mess caused by fraud, she finds the perfect person for her, but obstacles stand in their way. --- As ALWAYS Nicola Griffith provides a classic noir heroine who sees herself as strong and capable. ALWAYS is as much a crime thriller as it is a woman coming to terms with her vulnerabilities making for a deep character study of the self-assured lead female and to a degree the support cast. Aud is terrific as she recognizes her shortcoming of gullibility, but plans to correct her error personally while still trusting those deserving of it. The two separate subplots rotate chapters with Aud the furious female fury as the link to a fine character-driven thriller. --- Harriet Klausner

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