I wanted to like this book far more than I did. Crime thrillers set in Glasgow are just my cup of tea and this was told mainly from the point of view of the killer, with the only additional information coming from newspaper clippings. It was a book that just screamed 'me'. Unfortunately, I just didn't enjoy it as much as I expected.
The Cutter himself was quite an interesting character on paper, seemingly picking his victims at random. His methods of finding victims and killing them all differ. He even contemplates the thought of killing children, if his randomised methods happen to work out that way. However, I found him mostly unlikeable and unsympathetic, even after finding out his motives for killing. The only time I even remotely felt for him was when he was with his wife. Both of them were dealing, poorly, with personal tragedy. It was the only time he came across as human to me. Bad things happen to good people but most of them don't turn into serial killers so why did The Cutter? This was never really addressed sufficiently enough for me.
The characterisation of Glasgow was a complete cliché and didn't impress me at all. Gangsters, neds, drug dealers, addicts. All of them exist in Glasgow, as they do everywhere, but it's not what the city is all about. I do think that anyone familiar with Glasgow will get a lot more out of the story than those not. It mentions a lot of different places with little context as to where they are and I feel only a native or frequent visitor (I went to university in the city) would be able to place.
Another negative point for me was the mistakes in the book. From confusing the number of the person he was going to kill (one of his ways was to walk past people and count to a certain number, and that person would be his next victim) to misnaming a real-life murder victim that would take seconds to look up. The second was a big story in Scotland and the error jolted me right out of reading.
The novel, overall, wasn't bad. I enjoyed it enough to keep reading until the end but I was never really impatient to know what happened next.