book cover of The Second Cut
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The Second Cut

(The second book in the Rilke series)
A novel by


'Superb' The Times Crime Book of the Month
'A hardboiled gem' Guardian
'I doubt I'll read a better book this year' Val McDermid

Auctioneer Rilke has been trying to stay out of trouble, keeping his life more or less respectable. Business has been slow at Bowery Auctions, so when an old friend, Jojo, gives Rilke a tip-off for a house clearance, life seems to be looking up. The next day Jojo washes up dead.

Jojo liked Grindr hook-ups and recreational drugs – is that the reason the police won’t investigate? And if Rilke doesn’t find out what happened to Jojo, who will?

Genre: Mystery

Praise for this book

"Richly layered, gloriously carnal, bursting with patter and irresistibly seductive." - Chris Brookmyre

"If writing a sequel to a bona fide Scottish classic weighed heavily on Louise Welsh you'd never know. The Second Cut grips from the very opening pages. The Glasgow it portrays is seamy but humane, its cast of characters flawed but endearing. The whole thing is compelling, immersive and brimming with life. A great achievement." - Graeme Macrae Burnet

"Twenty years is a long time to wait for a 'sequel' but Louise Welsh has made the wait completely worthwhile. In Welsh's writing, Rilke's world remains recognisably queer - not sanitised, not tidied, not safe before the watershed - and all the better for it." - Stella Duffy

"Getting another look behind the curtain at Rilke's world was a squalid thrill. Louise Welsh reclaims her crown as the queen of Glasgow's grubby glamour." - Kirstin Innes

"This return to the world of Rilke is a masterclass in engaging storytelling. Emotionally complex, and full of dark wit and deviant energy, this is a wonderful examination of the state of our culture today." - Doug Johnstone

"One of the most enjoyable mysteries I've read this year, The Second Cut had me from the word go. Rilke's world feels rife with possibilities for dark doings - and Welsh's writing is fresh, funny, fearless and fun." - Joseph Knox

"I doubt I'll read a better book this year. Dark, funny and humane, Louise Welsh tells the stories that nobody else dares." - Val McDermid

"Brilliant." - Alan Parks

"Plunges the reader straight into Glasgow's underbelly. This is hard-boiled Scottish crime writing at its best." - Sara Sheridan

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