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The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau

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Manfred Baumann is a loner. Socially awkward and perpetually ill at ease, he spends his evenings quietly drinking and surreptitiously observing Adèle Bedeau, the sullen but alluring waitress at a drab bistro in the unremarkable small French town of Saint-Louis. But one day, she simply vanishes into thin air. When Georges Gorski, a detective haunted by his failure to solve one of his first murder cases, is called in to investigate the girl’s disappearance, Manfred’s repressed world is shaken to its core and he is forced to confront the dark secrets of his past.

The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau is a literary mystery novel that is, at heart, an engrossing psychological portrayal of an outsider pushed to the limit by his own feverish imagination.

Prizes and awards

Scottish Book Trust New Writer’s Award
Waverton Good Read Award, Longlisted

REVIEWS OF The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau

"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.

The List's Top 20 Scottish Books of 2014 Read more

'This psychological thriller is the Scottish answer to the Scandinavian crime wave.' - Leila Cruickshank, Scottish Booktrust Summer Sizzlers

'“Intelligent and stylish.'” -– Jen Bowden, The List Read more

“'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 Read more

'A deeply atmospheric read.… Of all the notable achievements in The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau the most outstanding is the style of the storytelling. In Graeme Macrae Burnet, we have a refreshing new storyteller, one who presents his morbidly interestingly tales in a most assured and riveting fashion.'” - Scottish Books Read more


Trade information

  • Rights: World Exclusive
  • BIC code(s): FF
  • BISAC code(s): FIC022000, FIC050000

About the author

Graeme Macrae Burnet

Graeme Macrae Burnet 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 cult hit. Set in small-town France, it is a compelling psychological portrayal of a peculiar outsider pushed to the limit by his own feverish imagination.

His second novel, His Bloody Project, concerns a brutal triple murder in a remote Scottish Highland community during the 1860s. Lauded by critics and hugely popular with readers, His Bloody Project won the Saltire Society Fiction Book of the Year Award, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the LA Times Book Awards. It has been published around the world.

Graeme’s third novel, The Accident on the A35, is a literary mystery that takes place in Saint-Louis, the sleepy French backwater that was also the setting for The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau. It features the diffident Inspector Georges Gorski investigating a seemingly unremarkable fatal car crash – but where has the victim, an outwardly austere lawyer, been on the night of his death? Darkly humorous, subtle and sophisticated, The Accident on the A35 will be published in October 2017.

Praise for His Bloody Project:

“The book’s pretence at veracity, as well as being a literary jeux d’esprit, brings an extraordinary historical period into focus, while the multiple unreliable perspectives are designed to keep the audience wondering, throughout the novel and beyond. This is a fiendishly readable tale that richly deserves the wider attention the Booker has brought it.” – The Guardian

“An astonishing piece of writing… a voice that sounds startlingly authentic.” – The Telegraph

“Gripping, blackly playful and intelligent.” – The Times

“Graeme Macrae Burnet’s His Bloody Project is a gripping crime story, a deeply imagined historical novel, and gloriously written – all in one tour-de-force of a book. Stevensonian – that’s the highest praise I can give.” – Chris Dolan, Book of the Year, The Herald

“The Man Booker judges got it right: this really is one of the most convincing and engrossing novels of the year.” – David Robinson, The Scotsman

“A real box of tricks… a truly ingenious thriller as confusingly multilayered as an Escher staircase.” – Jake Kerridge, Best murder & mystery reads of the Season, Autumn 2015, Daily Express