Also In the series
I don’t know how to categorize this book. Set in 1860s, the author claims that the events in the book are inspired or part of the actual historical event, so we are safe to call it Historical Fiction but at the same time the premise is for set for very legit crime fiction.
Set the rural Northern County of Applecross in Scotland, the book follows the story of the central character Roderick Macrael- a fifteen year old who brutally kills three people. He immediately surrenders & admits the guilt & is captured by the local police. The tone of the book at the beginning is that of crime reporting but later the “first person” prison dairy takes over. Here, with his skillful writing, Roderick narrates the story of his family & the hardship they faced- thereby establishing the motive of his actions.
The character development of Roderick is a lesson in writing itself. He is established as intelligent in school & good in behavior in general but he struggled to satisfy his father in their family occupation of crofting. His relationship with his father, sister & neighbors shapes him in to what he is, when he commits those crimes. The final part of the book is the trail which maybe the only part that I wished could had been better. It seemed like it was building for some big surprise, but it didn’t.
I don’t know if this book can win the Bookers’ or not, but by including it ahead of heavyweights says that the jury is inviting new voices & different writing styles. No one outside Scotland knew about Contraband, the publisher of this book. I hope this shortlist will not only leap the fortune of the publishing housing & writer, but also inspire many others to promote new voices.
I rated His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet 5 out of 5 stars ( more like 4.5 because of the ending) on Goodreads.
Next on #ManBookers2016- Book review of Eileen & Hot Milk