Interview: author Graeme Macrae Burnet discusses The Disappearance of Adele Bedeau
Burnet's debut is an intelligent and stylish crime thriller set in a small French town
The publication of his debut novel, The Disappearance of Adele Bedeau, hasn’t quite sunk in for Graeme Macrae Burnet. 'There’s been so much disappointment,' he says, 'and I’ve got that Scots mentality of holding back, but I’m fairly confident it’s happening now.'
Burnet, who received a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2013, has reason to be wary. After rejections from a number of publishing houses, his novel was eventually bought by Saraband and is one of the first to be published under its new crime fiction imprint, Contraband.
Set in a small French town, The Disappearance of Adele Bedeau is an intelligent and stylish crime thriller. Loner Manfred Baumann spends his evenings drinking in the Restaurant de la Cloche, observing the attractive waitress Adele Bedeau. But when she disappears without a trace, Manfred is forced to confront some very dark secrets from his past.
Inspired by his own experiences in France, Burnet has made every effort to ensure the book is authentic, to the point of devising an ‘original’ French author, Raymond Brunet. 'I wanted it to be read like a novel in translation,' says Burnet. 'My French is bad, and I was conscious that I was writing a translation of the characters’ French dialogue anyway, so I really wanted it to come across as being authentic and to have that immersive sense of reality.'
The Disappearance of Adele Bedeau is published on Thu 17 Jul, when there will be a launch at Waterstone's Argyle Street, Glasgow, at 7pm. The Scottish Book Trust New Writers Awards are open for applications until Fri 5 Sep.