At the moment I am reading one of the nominees on the The Man Booker Prize shortlist, a book I’m advised has outsold all the other shortlisted books so of course the cynic in me says that’s reduced the author’s chance of winning, but perhaps I’ll be proved wrong. So which book am I reading? Well it’s His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet, a historical crime novel which is confusingly convincing.
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? And 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—centered around an unreliable narrator—will keep the reader guessing to the very end. His Bloody Project is a deeply imagined crime novel that is both thrilling and luridly entertaining from an exceptional new voice. Amazon
The last book I read was Pariah by David Jackson, a tale concentrated around Detective Callum Doyle who is based in New York where Doyle is a member of the NYPD. He has a problem though, those close to him keep dying…
Where can you turn when your very presence brings death to those around you?
That’s the question Detective Callum Doyle is about to face. It begins with the calculated murder of his partner on a vacant lot. But more death is to follow, and when the chilling anonymous messages arrive, Doyle is left in no doubt that this is about him.
You cannot go near your friends, your colleagues, or even your family. Because if you do… they will be killed.
To save others, Doyle is forced to cut himself off from society. But with the investigation getting nowhere and his isolation becoming unbearable, Doyle has to ask himself how much he’s willing to sacrifice to get his life back. Amazon
Next up is Mark Hill’s The Two O’clock Boy which judging by the opening which I shared in yesterday’s post, this is going to be a gripping read!
To read the synopsis and an excerpt, please visit yesterday’s post.
Have you read any of these? Do you want to?
Let me know what you are reading this week by adding your comments or leaving your link below.