Canongate, Jan 2004, 24.00, 294 pp.
In Glasgow, Rilke works as a dealer at Bowery Auctions. He has heard all the pronouncements of safe sex, but cannot help himself that he simply likes the men too much. Currently Rilke is appraising the estate of the late Roddy McKindless when he is a bit surprised by the enormous pornographic collection. That in of itself does not faze Rilke as much as several particular pictures in the compilation that show the snuffing of a woman during a sexual encounter.
Though quite aware of rough sex and having seen and been involved with some of society's less than acceptable types, Rilke still needs to know who the victim was and was she really murdered. Internally lecturing himself as being out of character for trying to do something pathetically decent just because he needs to know, Rilke makes inquiries amongst the city's most sordid characters. He pokes into other people's affairs awhile also gaining a quickie poke or two.
Rilke is a great intelligent scoundrel who normally does not let ethics get in the way of business or pleasure. The seamier side of Glasgow comes across as character unto itself and auctioning is cleverly intertwined into the plot. Though the resolution of the girl's fate seems weak, Rilke's fabulous adventure is worth the read.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner