The Twilight Hour

Overview

“This is an atmospheric book in which foggy, half-ruined London is as much a character as the artists and good-time girls who wander through its pages.”—Time Out

Elizabeth Wilson’s elegant noir vividly evokes the fashions and politics of a bohemian community flourishing in postwar London. The Twilight Hour is a riveting thriller with a corkscrew twist.

Visiting professor at the London College of Fashion, ...

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Overview

“This is an atmospheric book in which foggy, half-ruined London is as much a character as the artists and good-time girls who wander through its pages.”—Time Out

Elizabeth Wilson’s elegant noir vividly evokes the fashions and politics of a bohemian community flourishing in postwar London. The Twilight Hour is a riveting thriller with a corkscrew twist.

Visiting professor at the London College of Fashion, Elizabeth Wilson is a well-known UK writer on feminism and popular culture.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
In the brutal winter of 1947, a young Londoner sets out to vindicate a friend convicted of murder. Dinah Wentworth feels responsible for Colin's plight because she discovered the corpse of surrealist painter Titus Mavor and didn't report it. She was delivering a letter for her boss, who persuaded her it would be safest to keep quiet, but she never imagined the police would accuse Colin, a communist who recently had a loud political argument with Mavor in a cafe. Feminist cultural historian Wilson's mystery is long on atmosphere (perhaps thanks to her research for Bohemians, 2001). She captures the dank austerity of bombed-out, postwar London, cleverly counterpointing this bleakness with the giddiness of being young and avant-garde in such a time, contemplating what might arise from the rubble. Dinah, her husband, Alan, and his filmmaking partners, Colin and Hugh, are idealists who intend to remake the world with their art. But at the novel's start, their alliance is already splintering. Dogmatic Colin and eager-to-sell-out Hugh are at odds as they try to secure funding with the help of enigmatic Romanian director Radu Enescu and his muse-girlfriend, Gwendolen Grey. The combination of Enescu's Hollywood ambitions and Colin's arrest severs their bonds for good. Dinah, a feminist who often runs up against the limits of men's (and her own) freethinking, is an appealing character. Unfortunately, the story is not as compelling as its setting, and the novel soon loses the subtlety and verve of its opening chapters. Fluidly, even elegantly written, sharply evoking a time, place and mindset. But the promising setup gives way to a workaday mystery.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781852424770
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail Publishing Ltd
  • Publication date: 5/1/2007
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.75 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

An independent researcher and writer best known for her commentaries on feminism and popular culture, Elizabeth Wilson is currently Visiting Professor at the London College of Fashion. She is the author of several non-fiction books and has written two other crime novels: The Lost Time Café and Poisoned Hearts.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    fine historical amateur sleuth tale

    In 1947, in a freezing still bombed out London, Dinah Wentworth finds the corpse of surrealist painter Titus Mavor. Not wanting to reveal any reasons for being at the Mayor¿s apartment and heeding advice, she fails to inform the cops. --- Not long afterward, the police arrest family friend and film-making business partner Colin Harris, who had a vitriolic public shouting match with the deceased over the immediate future of England. Dinah knows Colin is innocent, a victim of circumstantial evidence compounded by his being a Communist as the Cold War begins to heat up. Over the objection of her husband Alan, who tells her the film partnership was over before Harris¿ arrest so they owe him nothing Dinah needs to prove the innocence of Colin as she believes someone is filling in the blanks to finish framing him for the murder. --- The amateur sleuth tale is well written, but takes a back seat to the period piece as London, still recovering from the bombings, suffers through a freezing winter as the Cold War begins. Dinah is a fascinating character as she wants the freedom men has, but besides her spouse and the males who dominate the fledgling English film industry keeping her down, her own limitations also holds her back as she accepts as gospel those limitations because she is a female. We¿ve come a long way. Fans of historical tales with a mystery subplot will appreciate THE TWILIGHT HOUR more so than pure whodunit buffs as the incredibly vivid look at the era (readers will shiver with the cold) supersedes the solid investigative subplot. --- Harriet Klausner

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