Title: The Cutting Room
Author: Louise Welsh
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd.
Summary [from the publisher]:
Set in contemporary Glasgow, The Cutting Room is narrated by Rilke, one of the most engaging, flawed and hedonistic fictional creation of recent years. When this dissolute and promiscuous auctioneer comes upon a hidden collection of violent, and highly disturbing, erotic photographs, he feels compelled to unearth more about the deceased owner who coveted them. What follows is a compulsive journey of discovery, decadence and deviousness.
Rilke is a gay auctioneer in his 40’s, who enjoys drinking, smoking, and casual sex. While clearing out the house of his latest client, an elderly woman, he comes across a collection of erotic books and photos that belonged to her deceased brother. She doesn’t want to see any of it and asks that he destroy everything in his private study. Instead of honoring her request, he wishes to learn more about the disturbing images of a woman that appears to have been murdered. During his search for the truth, he encounters drug dealers, porn shop owners, an amateur filmmaker, and a woman who poses nude for the camera.
This was a very stylish, moody, and atmospheric thriller. I enjoyed the glimpse at a dark and seedy side of Glasgow, the workings of an auction house, and the deeply flawed character of Rilke. What I didn’t enjoy so much was the weak mystery, the flat secondary characters, and the ending that fizzled out and left me rather disappointed.
Still, I would recommend this story to readers who enjoy literary crime novels, morally challenged characters, and don’t mind graphic and disturbing situations.