His Bloody Project

Burnet, Graeme MacRae

  14 Reviews

Roddy Macrae has already confessed: he killed Constable Lachlan Broad and Broad's children. Now all that needs to be determined is why he brutally murdered his neighbours. The year is 1869 and the Scottish Highlands crofting settlement of Culduie is reeling from the triple murder. From the documents provided, Roddy's memoir written while he is awaiting trial and the reports from the trial itself, surely it will be possible to ascertain if he was insane? More importantly, will the truth prevail or only be revealed as merely a matter of perspective?

A gripping, literary thriller richly weighted with historical detail and the prejudices of the time.



High rating due to the interesting topic, good length of book and portrayal of characters. Fascinating insight into the legal system of the time; and eloquent style.
Everyone found it a compelling and worthwhile read. A sad and tragic story that needed to be told.
NEWP 016
We all enjoyed this book and thought the writing was very clever to give the impression of a true event. We liked how the story was told. We felt there were a lot of undercurrents about certain people and you knew there was a whole lot more going on under the surface than what was written. The writing gave very good visual impact without onerous descriptions - we liked this book very much.
TARR 001
An enlightening and 'squalid' description of a crofter family's existence in the Scottish highlands - a vigorous discussion ensuing.
TAUR 035
The majority thought the novel cleverly written, with great insight into the desperate lives of many at that time. It raised a lot of interesting points, though we did find it depressingly violent. But overall quite a good book and it produced an interesting Zoom discussion between about 2/3rds of our group.
AUCK 135
It was a clever concept with excellent writing. It was an intense read!
CHCH 397
Not as 'heavy' as expected. Well-written:-) Would recommend.
CHCH 137
Very well-written though regarded as a "harsh read". Everyone could understand why Roddy acted the way he did - he had quite a bit to avenge! We were all appalled by the living conditions of the 'peasants' - the serfs of Russia may have been better off!
AUCK 279
Beautifully written. Gave us all food for thought.
This was a book you had to read well past the introduction to get into it. From then on it was an interesting read.
AUCK 293
This book is a gripping, fascinating read. Even though Roddy commits 3 gruesome murders we all felt some empathy towards him. What a sad, bleak existence these crofters lived - there was very little joy in their lives. A very well-written story.
CHCH 397
Not as 'heavy' as expected. Well-written. Would recommend.
CHCH 299
A mixed reaction to this book, from members who loved it and thought the story compelling, the descriptions evocative, and the subject matter gripping - to those who struggled to read it and were surprised the book won awards. The subject matter of the appalling living conditions of Scottish crofters at the time and the criminal justice system made for a good discussion, as did the way the story was told, where you didn't always know who to believe.
TAUR 016
What a compelling read and so descriptive. At times some scenes were very graphic and hard to read. The themes of sexual and domestic abuse, power over others led to great discussion. Sadly some of these themes continue today. The clever writing made us ponder issues long and hard. We highly recommend this book!