book cover of Stay
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(The second book in the Aud Torvingen series)
A novel by

Nicola Griffith has been praised by the widest variety of admirers - from crime writer Dennis Lehane's "outstanding" to poet Allen Ginsberg's "astonishingly gifted" - and in the widest variety of ways, from the Washington Post admitting it's "hard to overpraise the taut plotting and broad intelligence" of her work to the Los Angeles Times acclaiming her "beautifully written [sentences]... shimmering with many levels and complex meanings" to the Village Voice dubbing her a sort of literary "Femme Nikita."

With Stay, Griffith has written her most accomplished and searing work. She juxtaposes beauty and brutality in a stunning amalgam of pyrotechnic noir poetry to match James Ellroy, lush meditativeness that recalls Barbara Kingsolver, and hard-boiled moral conviction worthy of Andrew Vachss. And she develops her hero, Aud, bristling with emotional complexity and barely suppressed violence, into one of the most fascinating protagonists in fiction today.

Stay opens with Aud, normally the epitome of cool-under-fire contained competence, disintegrating with grief and guilt over the violent death of her lover. These emotions are new to her, and she has moved deep into the North Carolina woods, away from people, afraid of what she might do if pushed. Into her refuge comes her oldest friend asking an impossible favor: to track down his missing fiancée, a woman Aud despises. The police won't take his concern seriously, and Aud - an ex-cop whose sense of right and wrong has little respect for the law - is the only person he can turn to for help. But to follow the woman's trail to New York City, she must leave the shelter of her trees and confront a series of physical, moral, and emotional challenges that she has been dodging for weeks, months, and years. None of her choices are easy.

Stay is a dazzling showcase for Griffith's literary talent. She layers an array of different elements - urban tension and pastoral beauty, complex characters and white-knuckled narrative suspense, lyric prose and visceral violence - into a novel of depth, subtlety, and riveting noir storytelling.

Genre: Mystery

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