This was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize. I haven’t read the winner yet, but this is the one that seems to have had the most positive word-of-mouth.

graeme-macrae-burnet-his-bloody-projectSubtitled Documents relating to the case of Roderick Macrae, the book is written as a series of documents detailing a triple murder in a remote Scottish village in 1869.

It starts with the view of the killer’s character by the people who knew him, in statements taken by police.

The core of it is the story is from Roddy’s perspective as he sits in jail awaiting trial, having freely admitted his guilt. There are also sections on his trial, and a statement from a psychologist who examined him.

We know that Roddy is guilty of the crimes, the brutal murder of a local community bully and two others.

The exploration of the story is why – what led him to do it, and is he legally sane?

This is a fascinating story, beautifully written and engaging from first to last. The world Macrae creates in the poverty-stricken Highlands village is vivid and complete – the buildings, the day-to-day life, the hardships, the crofters, the rules.

Highly recommended.