Campbell, Karen - 'The Twilight Time'
So, here's another first novel set in Scotland, this one in Glasgow. It's a police procedural featuring Sergeant Anna Cameron, on her first day in a new posting to the Flexi Unit - a small team who work with prostitutes. Then she finds out that she'll be working with her ex - Jamie, who's now married with a new baby, which throws up all kinds of feelings from the past.
Operationally things are tough. There's been a series of attacks on prostitutes, but no-one will talk to the team, and then an old Jewish man is murdered and Anna feels responsible for not following up on an earlier vandalism complaint.
But the main thing troubling Anna seems to be her own life. She's having an affair with a married senior police officer; she's continually flung together with her ex-boyfriend, Jamie; and her whole team hates her. After the old man is murdered she meets up with Jamie's wife, the down-trodden and post-natally depressed Cath - another reason for Anna to feel guilty.
Anna is extraordinarily self-obsessed, worrying constantly about her love life and about her future in the force. There were times I almost wanted to slap her, but I kept reading, and the plot, when she keeps to it, is a good one. I'm hoping that Anna learns from the mistakes she makes in this book, and is a bit less of a screw-up in the next one.
The characters are well-drawn, especially Anna and Cath. You get right into their heads and can feel the pain they are both going through in their own ways. And there is a real feel for Glasgow, from a writer who obviously knows her subject well. I'd have liked a little more plot and a little less introspection but overall it was well done. Would I read another? Yes, I think I probably would.
Read another review of THE TWILIGHT TIME.
Pat Austin, England