His Bloody Project
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His Bloody Project


A brutal triple murder in a remote Scottish farming community in 1869 leads to the arrest of seventeen-year-old Roderick Macrae. There is no question that Macrae committed this terrible act. What would lead such a shy and intelligent boy down this bloody path? Will he hang for his crime?

Presented as a collection of documents discovered by the author, His Bloody Project opens with a series of police statements taken from the villagers of Culdie, Ross-shire. They offer conflicting impressions of the accused; one interviewee recalls Macrae as a gentle and quiet child, while another details him as evil and wicked. Chief among the papers is Roderick Macrae’s own memoirs, where he outlines the series of events leading up to the murder in eloquent and affectless prose. There follow medical reports, psychological evaluations, a courtroom transcript from the trial, and other documents that throw both Macrae’s motive and his sanity into question. Graeme Macrae Burnet’s multilayered narrative will keep the reader guessing to the very end.

Title:His Bloody Project
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:280 pages

    His Bloody Project Reviews

  • Dem
    Jan 10, 2017

    So gripping and atmospheric and a clever psychological thriller I would never have picked up this book had it not been chosen for this month's book club read as neighter the cover or the blurb appeal...

  • Jibran
    Aug 14, 2016

    An excellent novel not just for its fascinating historical setting, but for the novelty of its form and its delicate coverage of the larger social, political, and personal themes that blend seamlessly...

  • Esil
    Oct 20, 2016

    I was surprised at how much I ended up enjoying His Bloody Project. It is on the shortlist for the Booker prize this year. When I looked through the list of nominees, it was the one book that appealed...

  • Hugh
    Dec 08, 2016

    This is my favourite of the three books on the Booker longlist I have read so far [edit 9 Oct] - though having since read Do Not Say We Have Nothing and Hot Milk it, His Bloody Project is now only my ...

  • Cheri
    Oct 01, 2016

    4.5 StarsThe 2016 Man Booker shortlist includes six books total; among those is Graeme MaCrae Burnet’s “His Bloody Project.” In the Highlands of Scotland, 1869, is the village of Culduie where t...

  • Peter Boyle
    Sep 11, 2016

    The Man Booker longlist raised a few eyebrows earlier this year by omitting the works of accomplished authors like Don DeLillo, Eimear McBride and Ian McEwan. But had it not focused on some less-heral...

  • LeAnne
    Jan 08, 2017

    Gosh, anytime a book is short-listed for the Man Booker Award, surely we open its cover with great anticipation of wonderment. And yes, there was delightful wonder here, but I think the cleverness of ...

  • Antonomasia
    Aug 08, 2016

    Honestly, "literary crime fiction" can be a bit dull sometimes, can't it? All those chilly, brittle delineations of character and meditations on why. The writing may be absent the tiresome clunks ofte...

  • Maxwell
    Jul 31, 2016

    A highly enjoyable and interesting examination of justice, criminalization, and classism in late 19th century Scotland. The first 2/3 were engaging enough, but it was the last third that really got my...

  • Rebecca Foster
    Sep 13, 2016

    (Nearly 4.5) What a terrific, propulsive tale Burnet has woven out of a real-life (I think?) nineteenth-century Scottish murder case. The seams between fact and fiction are so subtle you might forget ...

About Graeme Macrae Burnet

Graeme Macrae Burnet

Graeme Macrae Burnet was born in Kilmarnock in 1967. He studied English Literature at Glasgow University before spending some years teaching in France, the Czech Republic and Portugal. He then took an M.Litt in International Security Studies at St Andrews University and fell into a series of jobs in television. These days he lives in Glasgow. He has been writing since he was a teenager, but has ju