SECOND OPINION: His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet – Man Booker SHORTLIST 2016

Review published on August 23, 2016.

We’re in Culduie, a small crofting community, in 1869 and three brutal murders have taken place committed by Roderick Macrae who is just seventeen. While he’s awaiting sentence, he tells us his story. We’re given other ‘historical’ documents to supplement this so in a sense we are like the jury in the book, taking stock and judging Roderick. This is well written and you have to keep reminding yourself that although some of the characters did actually exist these documents are pure fiction. Macrae Burnet does a fine job here and effortlessly slips between different styles. I also really believed in the crofting community and how claustrophobic it was. The crofters are trapped through a system of control that never allows them to prosper or escape. I felt the lead up to the crime itself was rather sudden and I wanted more at the end of the book somehow – a further twist. However, this book is great company and very stylish. There would be much for a book group to discuss too.

Claire Thomas 4/4

His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet
Contraband 978-1910192146 pbk Mar 2016

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