Fiction – paperback; Canongate; 294 pages; 2003.
Every now and then I sometimes stumble across a book that grips me in such a way I can barely put it down and, when I do, I count down the hours until I can pick it up again.
Louise Welsh‘s debut novel The Cutting Room fits right into that category. Not only that, but the story, which is essentially a crime thriller, is so unique and so unlike anything I’ve ever read before, I cannot wait until Welsh puts pen to paper again to see what unusual fare she will create next.
Her characters are wonderfully realised and very different to the usual fodder dished up under the crime noir (the protagonist Rilke, for example, is a promiscuous gay auctioneer). Ditto for the setting (Glasgow’s darkest underbelly). And the twist, towards the end, came as such an unexpected surprise I immediately wanted to reread the entire book to see if I’d missed any obvious clues.
In short, a powerful, gripping and refreshing read from a new, bright talent to watch.