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His Bloody Project

Graeme Macrae Burnet (Author)

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Man Booker Prize 2016, shortlist.

The year is 1869. A brutal triple murder in a remote community in the Scottish Highlands leads to the arrest of a young man by the name of Roderick Macrae.

A memoir written by the accused makes it clear that he is guilty, but it falls to the country’s finest legal and psychiatric minds to uncover what drove him to commit such merciless acts of violence.

Was he mad? Only the persuasive powers of his advocate stand between Macrae and the gallows.

Graeme Macrae Burnet tells an irresistible and original story about the provisional nature of truth, even when the facts seem clear. His Bloody Project is a mesmerising literary thriller set in an unforgiving landscape where the exercise of power is arbitrary.

Prizes and awards

SHORTLISTED, Man Booker Prize 2016
WINNER, Saltire Society Fiction Book of the Year 2016

REVIEWS OF His Bloody Project

'Spellbinding… Riveting, dark and ingeniously constructed.' - Sunday Times

'A fiendishly readable tale that richly deserves the wider attention the Booker has brought it.' - The Guardian Read more

'Gripping, blackly playful and intelligent.' - The Times

'One of the most convincing and engrossing novels of the year.' - The Scotsman

'An astonishing piece of writing… a voice that sounds startlingly authentic.' - The Telegraph

Herald Books of the Year 2015 Read more

'One of the most enjoyable and involving novels you’ll read this year.' - Alastair Braidwood Read more

'The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau demonstrated that Graeme Macrae Burnet was a writer to watch out for. His Bloody Project confirms that he is one of the most experimental and assured authors currently writing in Scotland. More, please.' Read more

'Psychologically astute and convincingly grounded in its environment, this study of petty persecution and murder is a fine achievement from an ambitious and accomplished writer.' - The National Read more

'A deeply satisfying read.' - Undiscovered Scotland Read more

'A real box of tricks… a truly ingenious thriller as confusingly multilayered as an Escher staircase.' – Jake Kerridge


Trade information

  • Rights: World Exclusive (main contract) North America: Skyhorse ANZ: Text German: Europa
  • BIC code(s): FFH, FF
  • BISAC code(s): FIC022060, FIC022000, FIC050000
  • AI available?: Yes. Download AI sheet for the title (PDF)

His Bloody Project

About the author

Graeme Macrae Burnet

Graeme is one of Scotland’s brightest literary talents. Born and brought up in Kilmarnock, he spent some years working as an English teacher in Prague, Bordeaux, Porto and London, before returning to Glasgow and working for eight years for various independent television companies. He has degrees in English Literature and International Security Studies from Glasgow and St Andrews universities respectively.

His first novel, The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau (Contraband, 2014), received a New Writer’s Award from the Scottish Book Trust, was longlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award and was a minor cult hit. Set in small-town France, it is the compelling psychological portrayal of a peculiar outsider pushed to the limit by his own feverish imagination.

His second novel, His Bloody Project, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2016 and won the Saltire Society Fiction Book of the Year 2016 Award. He is currently working on another novel featuring Georges Gorski, the haunted detective in The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau.

Praise for The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau:

“Burnet skilfully knits together a solid detective story and a compelling character study to make a captivating psychological thriller. …Very accessible and thoroughly satisfying.” –- Alastair Mabbott, The Herald.

“A character driven plot that is incredibly engaging. Rural France provides an alluring setting, while the writing is evocative and the characters intriguing. The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau is a great read.” -– We Love This Book.

“A strikingly singular talent, Burnet blends a gripping story with compelling characters and surprising sweeps of the imagination. This is an accomplished, elegantly written and exciting first novel.” – Will Mackie, Booktrust.

“Burnet has completely nailed the tone, colour and sly wit … beautifully and convincingly drawn.” – Michael J Malone.

“Immensely seductive.” – J David Simons.

“This psychological thriller is the Scottish answer to the Scandinavian crime wave.” – Leila Cruickshank, Scottish Booktrust Summer Sizzlers.