List for the Man Booker Prize 2016.
The year is 1869 and the small crofting community of Culduie has been torn apart by a brutal murder. A young man, Roderick Macrae has been arrested, caught in the act there is no doubt that the blood is on his hands. Residents of Culduie give very different accounts of Macrae. He is at once pleasant, talented, hardworking, a ‘queer boy’ and ‘noxious progeny’. He is also condemned to die.
Then there is Macrae’s own account of his actions; an account which is at once remorseless, embittered and moving. On the advice of his advocate, Andrew Sinclair, Macrae tells his story, aware that this one man’s powers of persuasion stand between him and the noose at Inverness. Told through newspaper clippings, personal testimony and first-hand account, this is a novel that draws you into an isolated, taxing landscape where communities are tight-knit and dangerously insular and where rules are made and broken under the eye of watchful and judgemental eyes.
‘This is a crime novel, but it is so much more than that and, whilst it owes a lot to Simenon, it is in no way diminished by that comparison’ Crime Review UK