Read The Twilight Time by Karen Campbell Online


Anna Cameron is a new Sergeant in the Flexi Unit. On her first day in the new job she discovers she'll be working with her ex, Jamie, now married and with a child. In at the deep end emotionally after many years without him, she's also plunged headlong into the underworld of Glasgow's notorious Drag—the haunt of working girls, drug dealers, and sad, seedy men. Someone is cAnna Cameron is a new Sergeant in the Flexi Unit. On her first day in the new job she discovers she'll be working with her ex, Jamie, now married and with a child. In at the deep end emotionally after many years without him, she's also plunged headlong into the underworld of Glasgow's notorious Drag—the haunt of working girls, drug dealers, and sad, seedy men. Someone is carving up the faces of local prostitutes, an old man has been brutally killed, and racist violence is on the rise; Anna must deal with all this alongside tensions and backstabbing within her own team. Atmospheric, affecting, and beautifully-written, The Twilight Time is a stunning debut from a remarkably talented new crime writer....

Title : The Twilight Time
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780340935590
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 462 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Twilight Time Reviews

  • Christine Blachford
    2018-10-09 17:44

    Really interesting book this one. It's sits in a unique halfway house of crime fiction, in that it doesn't get too bogged down in the details of the crime (although we are following an active investigation), instead there is more focus on the police staff going about their business and trying to deal with their lives. It's more of a drama, with relationships starting and ending, inter-office politics going on, and plenty of self-loathing.What's great about it, aside from the fresh take on the genre, is how gritty it is. That's an easy word to use to describe a book set in Glasgow, but there's something really raw and distasteful about it all, something that really gets under your skin. You can feel the thick fog of pain or discomfort or depression that surrounds the characters a lot of the time, and it's almost visceral.Not a pleasant book, by any stretch, but incredibly well written and worth a read, for sure.

  • Karen
    2018-10-18 17:40

    THE TWILIGHT TIME is the debut novel from ex-cop Karen Campbell - featuring Sergeant Anna Cameron as the central character. In 2009 Campbell won Best New Scottish Writer at the Scottish Variety Awards, and there is now a second book out: After the Fire, which switches the viewpoint to two characters from the first book - Jamie and his wife Cath.But THE TWILIGHT TIME is a book that was recommended to me by somebody whose preferences I follow closely, and coincidentally was nominated as a discussion book on one of my email lists, so it was with some pleasurable anticipation that it was shunted up the To Be Read list.When Anna Cameron is bought into a local station as part of an active policing unit there's some disquiet around the place - she's mostly been a head office / policy sort of police officer before this and nobody's all that convinced about her ability to take over and run a unit. Fragile emotionally after Jamie dumped her anyway, discovering that she'll be working with him puts her under increased (self-imposed) strain, and when she finds that there is active resentment against her from other members of the squad, she starts to fall apart. Becoming obsessed with the murder of Ezra, a frail, old Polish man doesn't help her cause with anybody - especially as it isn't one of her own cases. When she is injured in the chase for a man who has been carving up the faces of prostitutes, Anna doesn't cope at all well when Jamie's wife Cath (an ex-cop in her own right, with a very bad case of post-natal depression), reaches out to her, having known Ezra as well.There's a hefty dose of angst, personal instability, depression, obsession, resentment, dislike, mistrust, lack of understanding, and selfishness in just about everybody in THE TWILIGHT TIME. To the point where it can be very off-putting. It's not often that you read a book and come out of it realising that there was a point in the narrative where you'd have cheerfully slapped just about every character. As somebody commented in the discussion we had about the book - there is a fine line between tough and obnoxious and some readers may choose to believe that Anna is tough - and others will be voting obnoxious. Personally I'm not adverse to a flawed central character, and I liked that Anna wasn't perfect and that there were signs of redeeming factors, although I will admit in THE TWILIGHT TIME there were too many flaws in too many of the characters. Having said that, I like characters that aren't too perfect and screw up and have bad days and are a bit grumpy and a bit stupid and occasionally daft as a brush, but stick with things, and care about something - and I really liked the way that Anna and Cath both cared about what happened to a lonely old man.In terms of plot - there were some good touches, with the mystery of the death of Ezra, and what seems to be, on the face of it a racist plot, quite interesting. It was also touching to be reminded that an old man could die, alone and mostly unforgotten and unremarked on. The other case that is being pursued by Anna's team is the carving up of prostitute's faces. This is resolved reasonably well, although at points it does seem to disappear into all the personal stuff a little, and in both investigations there were a few procedural twists and turns that didn't make a lot of sense. This is a debut book however, and sometimes they can have some flaws. The question really is would reading THE TWILIGHT TIME make me want to pick up the second book and it certainly did that.

  • Stephanie
    2018-10-17 14:50

    The One Sentence Summary: Anna Cameron, a Sergeant and rising star in the Glasgow police force, struggles both personally and professionally when she’s transferred to head the unit where her ex works, and has to investigate a series of brutal attacks on prostitutes.The Meat and Potatoes: Anna Cameron is a devoted police officer who excels in an arena where women have to fight to earn and keep the respect of their peers. On the first day in her new unit though she finds out she will be working with her ex-boyfriend Jamie, who is now married to Cath, the younger officer that he dumped Anna for without a word. Then an old man is killed, drawing both Anna and ex-officer Cath into the investigation. At the same time, a man is attacking and disfiguring prostitutes on Anna’s beat. Anna has to figure out how to work with her ex, navigate her way through a new and unwelcome “friendship” with his wife, and solve the cases before her while keeping her career intact.The Twilight Time is a delightfully complex crime novel, and the above bungled synopsis doesn’t do it justice. The novel includes a number of storylines in addition to the case that must be solved: Anna and Jamie’s lingering feelings for each other, Jamie and Cath’s rocky life together in the wake of the birth of their first child and Cath’s post-partum depression, Cath’s jealousy of Anna and regret for giving up her career with the police, and Anna and Cath’s tenuous friendship, navigating an interpersonal minefield while seeking justice for an old man who they both knew through the job. The Twilight Time is a past-tense novel written in third person close, with a point-of-view that shifts between major and minor characters. The point of view shifts are frequent, sometimes coming between sections or chapters, and sometimes right in the middle of scenes. Though generally smooth, a few of the quick transitions within scenes are less so. However, since each character has a well-defined and unique voice, it is almost always apparent when we have shifted perspective.The characters in The Twilight Time are well-crafted and unique, and their vices abound. Campbell unites our sympathies initially with Anna, the main character who was dumped for another woman without so much as a goodbye, but then chapters later completely reverses our allegiance. Characters that seem good at the outset are revealed to be deeply flawed, and those that we initially write-off we gradually begin to identify with. These rich characters really drive the story and pull the reader in, resulting in deep emotional involvement with the characters’ lives. It may be overdone however, and in the end the reader may be so fed up with their weaknesses that all of the characters seem like terrible people.The crime story at the heart of The Twilight Time is interesting, but isn’t revealed until a ways into the book. At first we’re presented with a series of seemingly disparate events, which by the end are proven to be interrelated. But Campbell may have waited a little too long to start drawing the connections. For most of the story it feels like all we’re doing is following the characters in their everyday lives. Still, the interactions between the characters keep the reader interested and the novel flowing until the connection between the crimes is revealed.Karen Campbell, a former member of the Glasgow police force, writes with authority and realism. Unlike many authors who were formerly on the job though, Campbell’s story is excellently crafted and doesn’t read like a memoir.The Praiseworthy: Campbell’s writing must be praised. This is one of the things that sets The Twilight Time apart from any other crime novel that you might pick up. Campbell tells the story with a literary flair that transcends the usual straight-forward storytelling of most crime writers. Consider the way she describes Anna’s distress at finding out Jamie has ended up married to the woman he left her for:‘He’s married?’ How did that come out? Anna looked in the fridge for milk, cooling cheeks, concealing confusion.‘Aye, his wife used to be in the job too.’ Derek stirred the tea. ‘You might know her. Nice lassie—Catherine. Worked here a while, then ended up at London Road.’Her hand held fast to the milk carton. Cool and pliant, sharp squares boxing liquid. If she squeezed it, it would burst. Burst like eggs, spilling life in puddles.So he married her.Also, The Twilight Time includes a number of passages in well done stream-of-consciousness style. Inside the minds of the character, we see their thoughts jumping and flowing just as our own thoughts jump and flow. After dozens of books where characters’ thoughts come already well-considered and polished, it’s refreshing to find an author whose characters think the way we do.Campbell’s use of dialect in The Twilight Time is also superb. Anyone who’s ever been to Glasgow can attest to the fact that locals have their own language, and rarely use the King’s English when speaking to each other. Campbell’s use of “no” for not, “canny” for can’t, and shifted contractions such as “I’ve not” instead of the typical “I haven’t,” root us firmly in the setting.The Shortcomings: Other than the occasionally confusing point-of-view shift and the overdone character flaws discussed above, my only gripe with The Twilight Time would be the ending—not the conclusion, but the actual point at which the author closed the story. (view spoiler)[The final scene involves Anna walking over the River Clyde, and stopping to drop in a war medal that belonged to the murdered old man for whom Anna was seeking justice for most of the story. In my opinion this scene was overly sentimental, unnecessary, and far too reminiscent of “Titanic” to be taken seriously. There were a number of moments leading up to this that would have made an ideal end to the novel, and I think The Twilight Time would’ve finished with more punch if Campbell had chosen a different sentiment on which to close. (hide spoiler)]The Verdict: I would recommend The Twilight Time to readers who enjoy character-driven crime stories and superb literary craft.

  • Edith Wasserfall
    2018-10-07 17:40

    I found this book a bit difficult to get into, and felt the story progressed pretty slowly. I stopped reading a few times, and then started again, so got a bit lost with all the characters at times. However, I started to enjoy it much more towards the last quarter of the book, and felt it had quite an interesting ending. The accents/language of the characters was not something I was used to or really related to, but I found it very interesting to read about Glasgow and it's people and characters. Overall, not an easy read for me, but a good read nevertheless.

  • Phetsy Dutchko
    2018-09-20 13:52

    As much a psychological study of identity, loyalty, and love as a police procedural, this book mixes gritty police procedural with literary character study. Very well crafted, but rather heavy going if one is looking for simple entertainment.

  • Ciara
    2018-10-07 18:41

    I didn't enjoy this book. I could never really connect with the story or any of the characters.

  • Angie
    2018-10-02 17:32

    Loved this debut novel from Karen Campbell and purchased the next in the series as soon as I finished. Excellent Glasgow-based police procedural with a brilliant female protagonist. Highly recommend.

  • Val Penny
    2018-09-25 17:38

    This book was book of the month at my book group. We meet in the local library and our leader is the author, Evelyn Hood whose 40th book was published last week. She is an remarkable person who is very generous about sharing her time and experience with less experienced writers in her workshops.The author of The Twilight Time, Karen Campbell, is another author Scottish writer. She is a graduate of Glasgow University's prestigious Creative Writing Masters, and author of several other books in the crime genre now too. Indeed,in 2009 Karen won Best New Scottish Writer at the Scottish Variety Awards. Karen is a former police officer, so can claim to have worked the streets of Glasgow. This, her debut novel, weaves personal insights and experiences to look at life behind the uniform. It also examines the choices women make in life. I have also been to workshops given by Karen and she is also very patient and generous with her time. This is an excellent first novel. It is about Anna Cameron, a new Sergeant in the Flexi Unit. On her first day in the new job she discovers she'll be working with her ex, Jamie, who is now married and with a child. This throws her in at the deep end emotionally after years without him.Anna is also plunged headlong into the underworld of Glasgow's notorious Drag which is the haunt of working girls, drug dealers, and seedy men. Someone is cutting the faces of local prostitutes. Then an old man has been brutally killed.. Racist violence is also on the rise. In addition to this, Anna must deal with tensions and backstabbing within her own team. The book is atmospheric, affecting but not for everybody. The Twilight Time is really quite graphically violent in places. There's a hefty dose of angst, personal instability, depression, obsession, resentment, dislike, mistrust, lack of understanding, and selfishness in just about every character in the book. Even the central character Anna, is far from perfect. To me this makes her interesting. I like characters that are not too perfect, make mistakes and have bad days. However, Anna sticks with things, and cares about things. I particularly liked the way that she cared about what happened to Ezra, a lonely old man who gets murdered. It is an interesting part of the book when the mystery of the death of Ezra comes to light. It seems to be a racist plot. It was also sad to be reminded that an old man could die, alone and mostly unforgotten and unremarked on. The other case that is being pursued by Anna's team is the carving up of prostitute's faces. This is resolved well, although at points it does seem to disappear into personal stuff a bit. In the investigation there were some procedural twists and turns that I thought were superfluous. However, if you like crime novels and do not mind a bit of gore, I can recommend The Twilight Time to you.

  • Mirren Jones
    2018-10-20 19:44

    This is Karen Campbell's debut novel but it's the second novel of hers that I've read. Although they are stand-alone books, I do wish I'd read them in sequence, if only to have appreciated the character of Anna Cameron better in 'After The Fire'. Strathclyde Police Sergeant Cameron is a woman who in Southern Scotland might be call a 'nippy sweetie'. One minute she's giving people a veritable tongue-lashing and the next she will risk her life for them. Despite her manner, you can't help but like her - she's dedicated to the job of policing one of Glasgow's notorious criminal districts and she's incredibly tough, but somewhere there is a vulnerable core which she keeps well-hidden until she becomes physically hurt in the course of duty - I won't give the game away . . .The story is very fast-paced, with twists and turns on both the personal and 'world' levels; it will keep you glued to the pages and wanting to read faster to find out what on earth is going to happen next. The other main character, ex-WPC Cath Worth, is the wife of Anna's ex-lover, Jamie. She feels she's leading a boring, difficult existence as a stay-at-home mother of a young child. She's no domestic goddess and her relationship with Jamie is deteriorating, with her seemingly powerless to prevent it doing so. The two women are brought together through their connections, leading to far-reaching consequences for them both.As the book's back cover blurb states, 'This is gritty as all hell, shot through with black humour and with enough pace and atmosphere to give the likes of Denise Mina a run for their money.' I would agree!

  • Ian Mapp
    2018-10-12 16:51

    Ordered after reviews read in various places.This is a very interesting addtion to the police procedural series of popular fiction.Campbell is an ex police woman, so for once, a police book that shows coppers for what they are like. The characters in this book are not super heros - in many ways that make more morally dodgy decisions than some of the criminals in other books. This is told without prejudice and an unmoralistic eye.The main character is Anna Cameron (how that name caught my eye as i went through the book) and she returns to head up a new flexi unit of police. One of the team members is her former boyfriend (Jamie), now married to another copper who has left the force to concentrate on bringing up baby.This dynamic provides the author with a chance to hone excellent characterisation. For a start, Anna Cameron is having an affair with a top police brass. She is jealous of her former boyfriend and a brief non affair happens. Jamie and his wife are excellently drawn. She is suffering from post natal depressions and struggles to adapt to the new life as a fulltime mother. Jamie is struggling with the demands of lad culture policing and a depressed wife.Where the book struggles is the actual investigation itself. There is a convulted story of racial tensions with a jewish pensioner and assaults on glaswegian prostitues that never rings true, or builds tension. In fact, by the time it is wrapped up, you couldnt really care less.Probably should have been suspicious when the blurb was from Kate Atkinson - whom this book's style reminded me of.

  • Nick Davies
    2018-10-14 11:54

    When it came down to it, this felt a touch 'over-written'. The first third of the book was slow-paced and bogged down in too much internal monologue (like with some other female authors, I felt that the balance between activity and inactivity was a little too much in the latter direction), and I almost gave up. The story improved after that, and there was some very convincing dialogue and long conversations - much more realistic than vital discussions in other novels which only last a couple of pages when they actually should last for hours. Alas, the final quarter was a little confused and crammed the ending of too many threads into a short neat period. Campbell can clearly write well - much of the prose was beautiful and witty and evocative - but it didn't quite make for an entertaining, involving, readable story.

  • Michelle
    2018-10-14 16:30

    I'm a swimmer not a jogger, but I've heard that if run for long enough you will hit what's known as 'the wall'. This book, for me, had a wall too. At one point I was really enjoying it, and then, all of a sudden it just became painful - all of it. The miserable Anna, the depressed Cath (and I am a depressive too, so you're know you're in a bad way when you make a lifelong depressive think, "Oh cheer up, love"), the cliched characters, the horrible. Fragmented. Sentences. (What was her editor thinking?) And the Glasgow speak, which just grated on me. I just came away from this wanting to know what happened to the kitten.

  • Jeanette
    2018-09-23 18:43

    Gritty realist book set in our own Glasgow, a book where the city is as much a character as the people. Portrays the police world that Karen Campbell herself worked within and the criminal underworld that surrounds us all without our recognition of it!Absolutely recommend and hooked in enough to read the next in the series.

  • Joyce
    2018-09-30 18:53

    I enjoyed feeling I had an insight into what being a policewoman in Glasgow might be like but didn't particularly enjoy the revelations. Good characterisations although not one really likeable and the plot tended to get a bit lost, I thought, beneath the personal stuff going on. I'd like to read a second novel of Karen Campbell's to make up my mind whether or not her writing is my cup of tea.

  • Sandra
    2018-09-19 13:39

    I read an interview with Karen Campbell in Len Wanner's 'Dead Sharp' and thought her books would be worth a try. Within a couple of paragraphs I knew I'd come across yet another superb Scottish writer - characters, dialogue, sense of place all superb and the plotting tight. Have already ordered a couple more from Amazon.

  • Lwg
    2018-09-19 16:55

    I made a mistake by starting at the end of this quartet, so this was backstory for me. In the later novel, the characters are more rounded. Here, I didn't like any of them and didn't find them convincing. I found the plot convoluted and silly, too - and what a lot of convenient coincidences. Don't think I would have kept going until the end if I hadn't been filling in the gaps in the later story

  • Katherine Stewart
    2018-10-11 16:38

    Really enjoy the writing of Karen Campbell. I don't know if it's the pull of the characters or the familiarity of the Glasgow setting, but I found the trilogy totally hooked me until the end. And the end left me reeling.. 10/10

  • Theweebarrell
    2018-10-16 15:47

    First book written by this author its based in Glasgow and i really enjoyed it, look forward to reading the next one

  • Rickey
    2018-10-01 13:50

    Had trouble getting interested in this book. The Glasgow dialect was difficult for me, and I had trouble finding the characters or story likeable.

  • David
    2018-09-19 11:33

    New author to me, still unsure but will try the next one.

  • Nicola
    2018-10-13 14:58

    slow slow slow i expected so much more

  • Vikki
    2018-10-20 14:59

    I think I want to read her others, was a bit slow to start with but times when I really wanted to know what was going on!

  • Kay Wells
    2018-09-28 16:35

    it was just ok not very page turning not got much umph to it. Disappointing read.

  • Laura Coyle
    2018-10-04 19:45

    Grabbed me enough to want to read the next in the series!