mandag den 13. december 2010

Karen Campbell, The Twilight Time (2008)

This Scottish crime novel is the writer´s debut.

The story begins on Sergeant Anna Cameron´s first day for the new Flexi Unit in Glasgow. Though she is the leader of the unit, she has to set out by proving her worth to her superior as well as to her colleagues as they all see her as a paper pusher who just got the job by sleeping with the powers that be.

As if that wasn´t enough, Anna runs into Jamie Worth, her old lover, who has a baby and a exhausted wife. As could be expected, Jamie and Anna are playing with fire, and though Anna is a dedicated and competent detective, her ability to handle colleagues , their wives and her superiors, could have been far better.

The plot is a bit complicated and I don´t want to reveal too much so let me just say that it begins with the death of a charming, old Jew, perhaps during a botched burglary, and continues with a vicious guy who attacks prostitutes, cutting his calling card in their cheeks.

I don´t know why Scottish writers are so brilliant at setting the scene, but just like Denise Mina, Campbell makes you feel you are right there among the hoors and hens of Glasgow (wishing you weren´t such a chicken because down among those women it´s all about survival and who kicks first). Fortunately there is also a streak of fine, dark humour.

Anna Cameron is an interesting protagonist, far too stubborn and impulsive for her own good, but a very credible character with lots of pluck and human flaws. I am not quite so sure I like handsome Jamie Worth, however. 

Lucky for me that I have followed Donna´s blog for a long time before trying to read the Glaswegian dialogue. It certainly helped. This signed book was a gift from a blog friend. Thanks, Tim – I finally got round to it, and I enjoyed it thoroughly!

6 kommentarer:

Margot Kinberg sagde ...

Dorte - Thanks for this excellent review. This one sounds like a really interesting read and I'm intrigued already by the protagonist. I agree with you, by the way, about Denise Mina's ability to place the reader right in the setting.

Uriah Robinson sagde ...

Dorte-You are doing well if you can understand Glasgow dialect. My dear Scottish uncle, who sadly died very young, would chatter on to me but I never understood a word he said. I don't think any other members of the family could either, perhaps that is why he got on so well with everyone.

pattinase (abbott) sagde ...

It's even harder to understand verbally.

Dorte H sagde ...

Margot: so with fantastic characters and a fine sense of place it doesn´t matter so much that I found it difficult to remember who was who once in a while.

Norman: well, I won´t guarantee I got every single word, but it was part of the pleasure to meet all those hens :D

Patti: och, aye. (I met an old geezer in Scotland once who held a long speech, and I assure you that every second word was ´och´ or ´aye´. Fine, really, because those words I could understand).

Kelly sagde ...

Another interesting sounding novel! (and a debut at that, so there'd be no catching up!)

Dorte H sagde ...

Kelly: I agree that that is part of what is appealing about debuts.