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"The Cutting Room" by Louise Welsh

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In this story we are led to believe that there will always be sadistic sexual predators, and that there is at least one amateur in Glasgow who wants to solve a murder involving these themes. The twist is that this particular murder happened decades before the story, and our hero, Rilke, believes through most of the story that its perpetrator is dead. He learns that this has not been the case, however, but that the purported villain has been killed within the current story timeframe by an intended victim.
Rilke is a homosexual, and Ms. Welsh relates a series of anonymous sexual encounters in the seamy underbelly of Glasgow. It's hard to believe this book would be received as warmly in the US as it apparently was in the UK.

This is the story of a man driven by his conscience to try to prevent further depredation against innocents. Although the protaganist must ultimately give up his individual quest through circumstances beyond his control, it is also a book about the ultimate impossibility of stopping sadism and exploitation. It's a good, vivid read, and Rilke is a sympathetic hero. I recommend it.
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