His Bloody Project – Graeme Macrae Burnet
Hello 2017! Very excited to be writing up my first Book of the Month – especially since I couldn’t recommend this book more.
Now, I know this isn’t a very daring choice – His Bloody Project was shortlisted for The Man Booker Prize 2016, so I’m not very far off-piste here – but this book was so brilliant that I couldn’t keep quiet about it.
His Bloody Project is a sort of murder mystery where we know who the killer is from the start (and in fact he is constantly protesting his guilt) and no one can agree on anything about the version of events that led to the killing, other than on who the culprit was. The culprit, one Roderick Macrae, is a young man from the Scottish Highlands who has brutally bludgeoned three members of the same family to death. No one can agree on what he is like – including whether he is sane or not.
In His Bloody Project we are not offered a complete narrative, but instead a series of fragments – Roddy’s own account (which is the largest part of the book), his lawyer’s report, the coroner’s report, an account of the trial – and left to consider for ourselves.
I don’t want to say too much more, because there is so much enjoyment for a reader in trying to piece together what actually happened (and knowing that you cannot).
I raced through this book in a couple of days, unable to put it down, and I would strongly recommend it to any readers of any kind.
You’ll love this book if:
– You like a good mystery
– You like vivid historical settings
– You like complex and ambiguous characters
You might want to avoid this book if:
– You are sensitive to graphic sex and violence
Love Lavinia xoxo
This review also appears on our sister site, Chapter and Verse Reviews.