Book Review: The Twilight Hour by Elizabeth Wilson

Initially a bit hard to get into as the plot seems to jump a lot, with the first scene seeming unrelated to the rest. It is worth perserving as the story soon gets better. Set in London 1947, it creates the atmosphere of a shabby, tired city still recovering from the effects of war. Dinah Wentworth is trying to find her place within the Bohemian Fitzrovia scene when she discovers the corpse of a surrealist artist, Titus Mavor. Not wanting to reveal her reasons for being there, she keeps quiet. But then her husband’s friend Colin – a committed Communist – is charged with the murder. Dinah and her husband realize that Colin has been framed and set out to do all they can to help him.

Unfortunately, when Dinah tries to tell the police about finding the corpse she is not believed. The period is brilliantly evoked – property developers on the edge of respectability, girls seeking to retain the independance they achieved during the war, the fears of the emerging Cold War, plus artists, writers and film stars trying to develop a British film industry as well as the confusions left behind by the war.

An interesting novel with well rounded characters. The emerging and changing relationships between Dinah and her husband and friends is central to the story. After a slow start, the pace moves quite quickly and there is an unusual twist at the end.

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