Set in contemporary Glasgow, The Cutting Room is narrated by Rilke, one of the most engaging, flawed and hedonistic fictional creations 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.
Winner of CWA John Creasey Memorial Award 2002. Shortlisted for Saltire Society First Book of the Year Award 2002.
THE DARK SIDE of Glasgow lies behind this black, erotic thriller. Homosexual antique dealer Rilke is commissioned to sell at auction the entire contents of a deceased old man's estate. What seems a straightforward deal turns suspicious upon the discovery of a hidden collection of erotica, secreted away in a loft. The chance unearthing of a packet of disturbing photographs sets Rilke on a trail through Glasgow's pornography industry in search of answers. Transvestites, rent boys, sadists and the generally sexually perverted all make an appearance, the possibility of snuff activities dangling over the story till the finale. Deceit, double-dealing and degradation fill the pages with the self-effacing, downward spiralling Rilke at the centre, trying to cling to reality and his sanity through a drunken haze induced by the horrors he has found. Homoerotic, this is not a book for the sexually squeamish. Newcomer Louise Welsh writes with unusual candour, succinctly capturing the various sexual persuasions and preferences mankind has always chased. Her easy style ensnares the reader, drawing them down to the dregs of depravity at the same time as tantalisingly teasing the plot along till its climactic ending. - Lucy Watson
LOUISE WELSH has published many short stories and articles. For several years she worked as a dealer in second-hand, out-of-print and antiquarian books. This is her first novel. She lives in Glasgow.