His Bloody Project – Graeme Macrae Burnet

Cover van het boek His Bloody Project

Opnieuw een boek dat ik moest lezen voor een van de lessen die ik hier volg. Maar net als bij Work like any other was His Bloody Project lezen totaal geen straf. Graeme Macrae Burnet heeft een absoluut origineel verhaal geschreven en het gebeurt niet vaak dat ik kan zeggen dat ik nog nooit eerder iets als dit heb gelezen. Op Goodreads heb ik het dan ook met vijf sterren gewaardeerd.

In His Bloody Project draait het allemaal om een rechtszaak. Roderick Macrae, een zeventienjarige jongen, is gearresteerd voor de moord op drie mensen in zijn kleine woonplaats in Schotland. Het boek bevat een memoir van zijn hand waarin hij de moorden bekent. Maar niet alleen bekent hij de moorden: hij vertelt ook over zijn leven, een zwaar leven vol tegenslagen. Naast Rodericks memoir zitten er in het boek ook verslagen van de dokter die de lichamen van de vermoorde mensen heeft onderzocht, en getuigenissen van dorpsgenoten waarin zij vertellen over Rodericks karakter. Uiteindelijk wordt ook van de zitting waarin Roderick al dan niet veroordeeld zal worden verslag gedaan.

Het interessante aan His Bloody Project is het feit dat je als lezer constant bezig bent met je eigen mening vormen over de schuld van Roderick. Tijdens het lezen van zijn memoir kan hij zijn eigen verhaal doen en wellicht zorgt dat voor sympathie, maar zijn memoir wordt voorafgegaan door de verklaringen van dorpsgenoten. Alle onderdelen van dit boek zijn eigenlijk puzzelstukjes en soms lijkt het wel alsof de stukjes niet samen één kloppende puzzel kunnen vormen. En het leuke is ook dat het allemaal zo echt lijkt. Omdat het voorwoord een slim stukje tekst van de auteur is waarin hij zegt documenten te hebben verzameld, waarna verslagen volgen en doktersverklaringen en stukjes van krantenartikelen, lijkt het allemaal niet op een ‘gewoon’ boek. Natuurlijk weten we wel dat het fictie is, maar tijdens het lezen zou je dat bijna vergeten. En dat is knap gedaan van Burnet.

His Bloody Project is ook in het Nederlands verschenen als Zijn bloedige plan bij Hollands Diep. Het stond in 2016 op de shortlist van de Man Booker Prize, een prijs voor het beste Engelse boek dat in het Verenigd Koninkrijk gepubliceerd is. Voor iedereen die wel houdt van verhalen waarin de spanning van een moordmysterie voorkomt maar die net als ik niet zo goed tegen de echte spanning van thrillers kan is dit originele boek zeker een aanrader.

Foto van de cover van het boek via https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25694617-his-bloody-project.

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