oracne - Victoria Janssen (oracne) wrote,
oracne - Victoria Janssen


I bought Nicola Griffith's noir mystery The Blue Place at WisCon, and read it on the plane and finished it after I got home. I could feel the story careening towards tragedy, but with so many twists I wasn't quite sure how it would happen, which I think means it was good noir. Afterwards, I felt a lingering grief. I will be very interested to see how things work in the second book, Stay--I couldn't read it immediately because it went home from WisCon with friends in their car.

The prose in The Blue Place is beautiful and strong, as I expected it would be. When I learned Griffith had written noir mysteries, I thought of certain bits of Slow River and thought, "Of course." The whole book has a hard yet somehow otherworldly tone. One thing I'm not sure I liked was that in certain spots, the dialogue is the same style as the first-person narrator's narration, a little too formal for "real" speech--but I am pretty sure Griffith did this to keep you in the noir world she'd created, where everything is heightened. Several times in the book, the narrator makes it clear that the world she lives in, of sudden violence and constant danger, is different from the world where most people live.

The book ate my brain. At the beginning, the narrator dropped tantalizing, seemingly impossible hints of things she'd done, drawing me farther and farther in, until suddenly nothing seemed so impossible. Go, buy, read!
Tags: books, mystery

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