A novel that manages to be colourful, gritty, modern, and gothic all within its 368 pages.
Twenty years after the events of Welsh’s The Cutting Room, Glasgow is a vastly different scene for the LGBTQ+
community as improvements in human rights, technology, dating (see: hook-up) apps, and even Covid regulations have changed the landscape.
When Rilke, a morally ambiguous, ageing auctioneer and GRINDR (gay dating app) aficionado, is given a lead on a crumbling estate from a pal, he’s thrilled – until that friend ends up dead and Rilke is unwittingly ensnared in a plot with insecure gangsters set on making his life diffiicult, dodgy party drugs killing his friends, underground orgies and human trafficking.
This is certainly not a book for the faint of heart as the language and content can be pretty graphic.
That said, it is well worth a read if you’re looking for a very timely tartan noir novel that slowly builds tension with its flawed yet unforgettable characters and sinister plot.
The Second Cut, by Louise Welsh, published by Canongate, £14.99.