Murder well written: ‘His Bloody Project’ by Graeme Macrae Burnet (2015)

Shoshi's Book Blog


The cover tells you what you need to know about ‘His Bloody Project’.  It’s gruesome, visceral and immediately intriguing.  Once you get past the red, smudged splatters and fingerprints, you see there’s a subtitle, the book is really called ‘His Bloody Project: Documents relating to the case of Roderick Macrae.’  Playful name games aside, this is a heading to fill a classic book lover’s heart with delight.  There are times when I really think that all horror and crime books should be presented as documentary evidence with the author masquerading as the editor.  It worked for ‘Dracula’ and ‘Jekyll and Hyde’; it worked for Conan Doyle and it worked for Poe.  Burnet’s Booker long-listed novel shows the convention is still going strong.

‘His Bloody Project’ relished its literary tradition, from the beautifully dated language to the tone of the editor, who tells us at the start of the preface ‘It…

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