Throwback Thursday: His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet

Shortlisted for the Man Booker, this is an unusual “crime” novel.  Young Roderick Macrae is in jail for three brutal murders and has written a memoir at the behest of his attorney, who hopes to use some of the information as mitigating factors in Roderick’s trial.  Interspersed with the fictional memoir are additional statements by other characters in the story and medical and court reports.  If you are looking for a book that grapples with moral ambiguity, look no further. I do not want to ruin the book, so I am not going to reveal the ending, but here is a case that pits the little guy against the powers that be, the downtrodden against the system, and the hopeless against those who hold all the advantages. Or is it?  The reader will have to decide for himself.  This book will leave you scratching your head, so if you prefer the end tied up neatly with a bow on top, don’t start reading His Bloody Project.  This ending leaves the reader full of questions that remain unanswered within the pages of the book, but that is part of its brilliance.  

Published by Robin Henry

Independent Scholar and Book Coach specializing in Historical Fiction and Literary Fan Fiction.

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