The Cutting Room
Louise Welsh is an aspiring young Scottish author and has already collected praise for this first novel, if we can trust the blurb. She studied literature and worked as a second hand book dealer and auctioneer.
All these experiences are mixed together in this story of heinous crime and seedy ambiente, set in Glasgow´s demimonde. Rilke, the tainted hero of Welsh´s literary overambitious story, works as an auctioneer for his boss, glamorous chain-smoking and drinking Rose. Rilke is called to a house full of precious antiques. The owner, an old very frail lady, wants to get rid of the stuff that belongs to her deceased brother, as soon as possible. For Rilke and Rose this means the final breakthrough in the business.
But when he explores the attic, he not only finds a rare collection of pornographic literature, but also old photos, that show the deceased at the brutal torture and murder of a young woman. Although more interested in his own sex, Rilke finds himself drawn towards the poor victim and wants to find out if it was real murder or just a stage set.
Welsh garnishes every chapter with a piece of Scottish literature, but what she really delves into is unusual and brutal sexual behaviour, be it hetero- or homosexual.
So a novel for the “connoisseur”, like her not very aptly named Rilke.