Proof of Life by Karen Campbell
I recently attended a writers’ workshop run by Karen Campbell in the village as part of Book Week Scotland. In preparation for this I read this, my second Karen Campbell novel. It had me quite confused at first with its complicated plot, rapid character changes and the many story threads. I could not follow the multiple transitions, nor could I see how they inter-twined.
Karen is an graduate in English Literature and a former policewoman. She writes gritty, real stories set in Scotland. Another of her books The Twlight Time is reviewed on this blog
The story is set in Glasgow and other parts of Western Scotland. There are layers of character threads which move in concentric patterns but I did not realise this until close to chapter 60. I put lots of hard work working out who is who throughout the book: I certainly had to do more than just read. As a reader, I had to work continuously throughout the book, but then again the plot was gripping and ensured that I stuck with the story right to the bitter end.
In Proof of Life, Chief Inspector Anna Cameron is a policewoman with everything to lose. Her life is finally back on track, but the mistakes she made in the past are about to come back to haunt her. When a body is discovered in a Glasgow canal, the death proves to have an unexpected link to something Anna wants desperately to forget. As Glasgow pulses with the threat of terrorist attack and growing civil discontent, Anna realises everything she holds dear is under threat.
This is a beautifully crafted book, but it is not for the faint-hearted. If you enjoy a complex crime story with vividly drawn characters, this is the book for you.
The workshop was excellent too!