The Second Cut

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A stylish, atmospheric detective story with shades of the Gothic from the author of the award-winning cult classic The Cutting Room.

Auctioneer Rilke has been trying to stay out of trouble, keeping his life more or less respectable. Business has been slow at Bowery Auctions, so when an old friend, Jojo, gives Rilke a tip-off for a house clearance, life seems to be looking up. The next day Jojo washes up dead.

Jojo liked Grindr hook-ups and recreational drugs - is that the reason the police won't investigate? And if Rilke doesn't find out what happened to Jojo, who will?

Thrilling and atmospheric, The Second Cut delves into the dark side of twenty-first century Glasgow. Twenty years on from his appearance in The Cutting Room, Rilke is still walking a moral tightrope between good and bad, saint and sinner.
Author: Louise Welsh
Paperback, Published 5 April 2022, 384 pages
Read and Recommended by Graeme:

"2022 is certainly the year of queer Glaswegian writing, with not only Young Mungo published but also this sequel, 20 years later to Louise Welsh’s acclaimed crime novel The Cutting Room. After 20 years it is not very easy to cast your mind back to the characters of the original book, yet the main character Rilke is such an indelible creation that you quickly re-embrace him and the world he inhabits. Rilke is an auctioneer and business has been slow post Covid, so when his friend Jojo provides a tip on a semi-aristocratic house clearance it is very welcome indeed. Yet before Rilke even has time to thank him, Jojo turns up dead in an alleyway. Was it an overindulgence of drugs, or was it something more sinister? This question hangs over the narrative, and intensifies when a second gay man turns up dead in very similar circumstances. This is an absolute first rate crime novel with a number of very compelling mysteries to resolve. Queer Glasgow is depicted with great grit and authenticity, whether it be Grindr hookups, beat sex, or drug-fuelled sex parties. Publisher Canongate has also reissued The Cutting Room simultaneously with the new book so you even indulge in a double dose of Rilke and his world if you wish."

'Scottish crime writing at its best' - Sara Sheridan

'I doubt I'll read a better book this year. Dark, funny and humane, Louise Welsh tells the stories that nobody else dares.' - Val McDermid

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