Review: His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet


Title: His Bloody Project

Author: Graeme Macrae Burnet

Purchase: Available in the UK and the US.

Overall rating: 4/5 stars

Great for: True crime, historical fiction and crime thriller fans

Themes: Mystery, crime, historical, cultural, family, thriller

"If we measure our society by the compassion we extend to all its members, then it must be admitted that in extending such compassion to the most wretched among us, we demonstrate our fidelity to the most civilised Christian values.” . . I'm so glad I made it my mission to read more prize winners and finalists, this year. Books such as these are totally outside of my comfort zone and I've enjoyed exploring and extending my limits immensely! . . #hisbloodyproject #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookstagramfeature #bookishfeatures #igbooks #igreads #instabook #instareads #bookdragon #booknerd #booknerdigan #bookworm #bookgeek #bookgram #booklove #booklover #booklion #booklife #bookish #manbooker #manbooker2016 #amreading #bookpic #bookporn #bookphoto #bookphotography #booksoutside #booksoutofdoors #bookquote

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Review: I found the concept of this wildly fascinating and utterly unique. Presented as a collection of ‘found’ documents concerning one of Graeme’s own long-lost ancestors, this satires non-fiction in an incredible fashion. Indeed, I was entirely convinced whilst reading this that it was, indeed, entirely authentic.

The text concerns the fictional account of the likes of Roddy Mcrea and is primarily focused on the murders he committed in his late teens. The book binds a series of documents from a transcript of his hearing, to an essay on lunacy and Macrea’s ‘own’ account of his life. Whodunnit is immediately evident, but the whydunnit remains to be discovered. This is an innovative concept in the crime and thriller book genres, where, typically, the ‘who’ is the entire essence of the book.

I enjoyed this far more than I initially thought I would. I anticipated a dusty and dated feel to the writing and thought it may appear a little too factual and inaccessible. The nature of the discourse, however, led to this becoming a thrilling and chilling read, which has continued to haunt me long after I have turned the final page.

I can see why this has garnered so much early hype and accolade, as it truly is an innovative and clever depiction of 20th century Scotland. By using fictional accounts and presenting them as fact, Macrae Burnet has transferred an individual story into a realistic and accurate representation of the struggles and discrimination felt by the inhabitants of rural Britain. His approach to demonstrating a wider social issue feels totally unique and yet believable, at the same time. He has excelled in managing to deliver both an apt social commentary and create an intriguing storyline and engaging narrative.

This book was the highest grossing Man Booker nominee and made it to the finals of the prestigious award, and is wholly deserving of its rise to literary celebrity. Macra Burnet has proven he is an author who is unafraid to test the boundaries of the expected and truly puts the ‘creative’ into creative writing! I can’t wait to see what else is in store for this sensational writer.

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