His Bloody Project shortlisted for the Man Booker prize 2016

Posted on September 14, 2016

Graeme Macrae Burnet’s literary thriller – a tale of savage murder in the wilds of 19th-century Scotland – has defied its underdog status to join this year’s Man Booker Prize shortlist.

His Bloody Project is Graeme’s second book and has been lauded as one of the “most convincing and engrossing novels of the year”. It explores and questions our notions of truth, sanity, justice and fairness. Compared favourably by critics with James Hogg and RL Stevenson, this brooding tale features startlingly authentic characters, and evokes the historical period with a persuasive accuracy. Indeed, some readers have even questioned whether it is fiction or “true crime”.

It is the story of a brutal triple-murder in a remote Highland crofting community in the 1860s. The question is not who did it –17-year-old Roderick Macrae freely admits to the killings – but why did he do it?

Graeme Macrae Burnet ingeniously recounts the story of the murders and the subsequent trial with the aid of Roderick’s memoir, along with court transcripts, medical reports, police statements and newspaper articles.

Graeme, 48, originally from Kilmarnock but now living in Glasgow, said: “I’m so thrilled to be on the shortlist, especially when you consider the calibre of authors that were on the longlist. As a writer, all you want is for readers to have the opportunity to discover your work, and a Man Booker nomination propels your book to a wider audience than I could ever have dreamed of. It’s quite astonishing.”

Publisher Sara Hunt said: “We are so very excited, both for Graeme and the book – we couldn’t be happier. It is so gratifying that our peers and readers alike have really taken to this novel, as it’s a book that we’re tremendously proud of.

His Bloody Project is that rare beast: a genuinely literary novel delving into concepts such as the nature of truth, but which also manages to be a real page-turner at the same time.”

The £50,000 winner of the Man Booker Prize 2016 will be announced on 25 October at an awards ceremony at London’s Guildhall.