Karen Campbell

This article is from 2008.

Karen Campbell

New Scottish writer who sits nervously in the crime section

As luck would have it, Karen Campbell could draw on her former career in Strathclyde Police for inspiration for her literary debut. Published earlier this year, The Twilight Time is an atmospheric, fast-paced novel which introduced us to Anna Cameron, a new sergeant in the Flexi Unit, who is given a baptism of fire involving racist violence and the brutal murder of an old man, with a smattering of prostitution and drug dealing on Glasgow’s notorious drag. Anna’s experience is contrasted with that of her friend Cath, a former constable, who now struggles with her new role as a full-time mother.

Intriguingly, despite her background and the grisly subject matter of much of the novel, Campbell has never thought of herself as a crime writer. ‘I was surprised when The Twilight Time was billed as crime,’ she says. ‘I always thought it was a novel about motherhood and missed opportunities.’ While the marketing people may be to blame for its slot in the bookshops, Campbell’s debut is a rare example of a crime novel which, in the energy of the writing and finely observed detail, transcends genre limitations.

11 Aug, 6.45pm, £9 (£7)

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