Lavinia’s Book of the Month: January 2017

His Bloody Project – Graeme Macrae Burnet

Hello 2017! Very excited to be writing up my first Book of the Month – especially since I couldn’t recommend this book more.

Now, I know this isn’t a very daring choice – His Bloody Project was shortlisted for The Man Booker Prize 2016, so I’m not very far off-piste here – but this book was so brilliant that I couldn’t keep quiet about it.

Graeme Macrae Burnet - His Bloody Project.jpgHis Bloody Project is a sort of murder mystery where we know who the killer is from the start (and in fact he is constantly protesting his guilt) and no one can agree on anything about the version of events that led to the killing, other than on who the culprit was. The culprit, one Roderick Macrae, is a young man from the Scottish Highlands who has brutally bludgeoned three members of the same family to death. No one can agree on what he is like – including whether he is sane or not.

In His Bloody Project we are not offered a complete narrative, but instead a series of fragments Roddy’s own account (which is the largest part of the book), his lawyer’s report, the coroner’s report, an account of the trial – and left to consider for ourselves.

I don’t want to say too much more, because there is so much enjoyment for a reader in trying to piece together what actually happened (and knowing that you cannot).

I raced through this book in a couple of days, unable to put it down, and I would strongly recommend it to any readers of any kind.

You’ll love this book if:
– You like a good mystery
– You like vivid historical settings
– You like complex and ambiguous characters

You might want to avoid this book if:
– You are sensitive to graphic sex and violence

lavinia collins authorLove Lavinia xoxo
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Lavinia’s Book of the Month: October

The Butcher’s Hook – Janet Ellis

butchers-hookI’ve actually recommended this book before, by accident. When I was in the bookshop (yes, a real bricks and mortar shop filled with books – can’t beat ’em) and I saw it, I said, “Oh look at this! It looks like a bodice ripper but with murders” and the sixty-something-year-old man beside me picked a copy up too, and said, “I’ll have one of those.”

And I am very happy to report that it was well worth it. Very entertaining, darkly comic and completely gripping. Just a wonderful tale, told with wit. After I had got over the fact that our romantic hero is called ‘Fub’, of course.

Anne, our heroine, is a young lady who knows what she wants, surrounded by people in her way. She’s a wonderfully engaging narrator, and you’re (or I was) completely on her side as she goes from wilful to psychotic (but in a good way).

You’ll love this book if:
– You like interesting characters
– You want to read a bodice ripper, but with murders

You might want to avoid this book if:
– You want to avoid stories that contain sexual abuse

Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2016.

lavinia collins authorLove Lavinia xoxo
Find this book on Amazon!