Title: His Bloody Project
Author: Graeme Macrae Burnet
Page Count/Review Word Count: 282
Disclaimer: While I aim to be unbiased, I received a copy of this for free to review.
Okay, first of all, I loved this book. It reminds me of Hemingway and Graham Greene, and is written in a sort of timeless style that never goes out of fashion. What’s remarkable about that is that it manages to do that whilst still using the vernacular of the time – still, despite being set in 19th century Scotland, it’s still easier to understand the dialogue than it is in your typical Irvine Welsh book.
The characterisation is fantastic, as well as the story line. It also takes the form of an unusual format, including the written narrative of a murderer, the autopsies carried out by a local doctor and the transcript of the hearing in which the murderer faces the wrath of the legal system. And all of these different things are wound together in a compelling narrative that keeps you turning pages until the end.
The story itself is described as “documents relating to the case of Roderick Macrae”, our murderer. But as we find as we turn the pages, perhaps he had his reasons, and I thought it was fascinating to see how the author played with the reader’s expectations while ushering you slowly towards the end of the book. I can honestly say that I haven’t read anything like this for a long time, and I’d definitely recommend it, especially if you’re a fan of the classics. It has a certain vibe about it that just makes me love reading.