Publishers Weekly
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Griffith's compelling follow-up to Ammonite is an intricate, cautionary tale of love, betrayal and self-discovery in near-future Europe. Heiress Lore Van Oesterling escapes kidnappers who plan to kill her after her family refuses to pay her ransom. Lying bloody and naked in the street, she's taken in by a reclusive female hacker named Spanner, with whom she forms an uneasy alliance to scam the rich and naïve. Lore finds herself falling in love and becoming more dependent on Spanner, but ``whenever Lore reached for her, she wavered and was gone, like the shimmering reflection on the oily surface of the river.'' At loose ends and tormented by the growing venality of their ``victimless crimes,'' Lore faces her culpability and decides to get on with her life: ``We all get hurt. But self-pity, lack of courage, leads to a sort of... mortification of the soul. Corruption. And then it takes more courage, costs more pain, to clean it up afterward.'' She assumes the identity of a dead woman, rents a flat and starts an honest job at a waste water-treatment plant, struggling to establish an identity independent of her family's name and wealth. Griffith's only misstep is to chronicle Lore's life through both first- and third-person narration; while the technique is refreshing at first, confusion mounts as the narrative modes converge. Otherwise, this exceptionally well-written novel could win yet more awards for its talented author. 25,000 first printing. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved