His Bloody Project favourite to win this year's Man Booker Prize


Scottish author Graeme Macrae Burnet is favourite to land this year's Man Booker Prize - for a second novel from a tiny publishing house run by just two full-time staff.

Graeme has been shortlisted for His Bloody Project, a crime story and memoir exploring the life of a 19th century crofter.

The author, 48, recounts the murders, in 1869, of three people in a remote crofting community and the subsequent trial of 17-year-old Roderick Macrae, one of the writer's ancestors.

Graeme Macrae Burnet with the cover of his book, His Bloody Project, which has been shortlisted for this year's Man Booker Prize
Graeme Macrae Burnet and the cover of his book, His Bloody Project, which has been shortlisted for this year's Man Booker Prize (Man Booker Prize/PA)

The book, released by a newcomer on the publishing scene, Contraband, features the teenager's memoir, along with court transcripts, medical reports, police statements and newspaper articles.

His Bloody Project has been made favourite to win the prestigious £50,000 prize, which will be announced on October 25, with odds of 5/2, displacing fellow British writer Deborah Levy (3/1) into second spot.

Levy is the only previously shortlisted author, with Swimming Home making the list in 2012.

Born and brought up in Kilmarnock, Macrae Burnet spent several years trying to get his work published but was knocked back.

His first novel, The Disappearance Of Adele Bedeau, was only published in 2014 after he submitted it himself to Contraband, an imprint dedicated to Scottish crime, and it became a minor cult hit.

The author, who lives in Glasgow, is currently working on two further novels featuring Georges Gorski, the haunted detective in Adele Bedeau.

Deborah Levy with the cover of her book, Hot Milk
Deborah Levy and the cover of her book, Hot Milk (Man Booker Prize/PA)

He had spent several years working as an English teacher in London and Europe before returning to Glasgow and working for independent television companies.

The shortlist also features debut novelist Ottessa Moshfegh (Eileen), fellow US author Paul Beatty (The Sellout), Canadian-British writer David Szalay (All That Man Is) and Canadian Madeleine Thien (Do Not Say We Have Nothing).