The Second Cut

Louise Welsh

The Second Cut by Louise Welsh (Hardback ISBN 9781838850869) book cover

Available as Hardback, eBook, Downloadable audio, Paperback

27 January 2022

A stylish, atmospheric detective story with shades of the Gothic from the author of the award-winning cult classic The Cutting Room

‘I doubt I’ll read a better book this year’ Val McDermid
‘Compelling, immersive and brimming with life’ Graeme Macrae Burnet

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?

Thrilling and atmospheric, The Second Cut delves into the dark side of twenty-first century Glasgow. Twenty years on from his appearance in The Cutting Room, Rilke is still walking a moral tightrope between good and bad, saint and sinner.


“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

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“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

“Richly layered, gloriously carnal, bursting with patter and irresistibly seductive”
Chris Brookmyre

“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

“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


Louise Welsh

Louise Welsh is an award-winning author of eight novels. The Cutting Room, her debut novel, won the Crime Writers’ Association John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award and the Saltire First Book of The Year Award. In 2018, she was named the Most Inspiring Saltire First Book Award winner by public vote. She is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow.

@louisewelsh00