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A Place of Execution by Val McDermid
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A Place of Execution (original 1999; edition 2020)

by Val McDermid (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,504368,675 (4.03)97
A riveting psychological thriller, now a major ITV drama, from the Number One bestselling Queen of crime fiction Val McDermid. In the Peak District village of Scarsdale, thirteen-year-old girls didn't just run away. So when Alison Carter vanished in the winter of '63, everyone knew it was a murder. Catherine Heathcote remembers the case well. A child herself when Alison vanished, decades on she still recalls the sense of fear as parents kept their children close, terrified of strangers. Now a journalist, she persuades DI George Bennett to speak of the hunt for Alison, the tantalizing leads and harrowing dead ends. But when a fresh lead emerges, Bennett tries to stop the story - plunging Catherine into a world of buried secrets and revelations.… (more)
Member:PamCoulthard
Title:A Place of Execution
Authors:Val McDermid (Author)
Info:HarperCollins (2020), 624 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

A Place of Execution by Val McDermid (1999)

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» See also 97 mentions

English (29)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (36)
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Well enough written and paced, with the awkward sentence or so, the entire story depends on the unlikely setup and is so full of detail that the characters, which seem to offer promise, really aren't given room to be more than ciphers with a stereotype as a label - upright police officer with supportive new wife, smarmy news reporter, old knowing village woman, nasty piece of work villain, self promoting police superior. The police sergeant Thomas almost comes through, but it's not enough.

This meta mystery is so clever it cuts itself. Lest you not notice, Book II, Part II is located before Book II Part I and that placement is all that gives Book II Part I its tension. Also a reference is made to The Wicker Man to rub in the rubes using the police to their own ends aspect. ( )
  quondame | Jun 6, 2019 |
3.5 stars ( )
  natcontrary | May 21, 2018 |
Excellent murder mystery set in the English countryside with the village in question having a dark secret. Really well done. ( )
  brakketh | Jun 28, 2016 |
From Amazon:

Winter 1963: two children have disappeared off the streets of Manchester; the murderous careers of Myra Hindley and Ian Brady have begun. On a freezing day in December, another child goes missing: thirteen-year-old Alison Carter vanishes from her town, an insular community that distrusts the outside world. For the young George Bennett, a newly promoted inspector, it is the beginning of his most difficult and harrowing case: a murder with no body, an investigation with more dead ends and closed faces than he'd have found in the anonymity of the inner city, and an outcome which reverberates through the years. Decades later he finally tells his story to journalist Catherine Heathcote, but just when the book is poised for publication, Bennett unaccountably tries to pull the plug. He has new information which he refuses to divulge, new information that threatens the very foundations of his existence. Catherine is forced to re-investigate the past, with results that turn the world upside down. A Greek tragedy in modern England, A Place of Execution is a taut psychological thriller that explores, exposes and explodes the border between reality and illusion in a multi-layered narrative that turns expectations on their head and reminds us that what we know is what we do not know.

My Thoughts:

Many of the characters in the first half are revisited, older, and with prejudices reinforced, or challenged by their own experiences. Character development is wonderful , and the investigation becomes a gripping thriller. I didn't see the ending coming on this one - always a plus in a mystery!

( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
READ IN DUTCH

My first book from Val McDermid and it didn't disappoint me. I had seen the series with Tony Hill, but this isn't one of them.
I liked to see into one village so closed to strangers, I couldn't even believe there are actually places where people still live like that. I liked the plot, but sometimes it was a little bit slow and taking the speed out of it, which didn't make it easy to continue reading. It also had the doom to be my Holidaybook, and as I don't seem to be able to read whenever I'm on holiday, this might not have helped either. ( )
  Floratina | May 26, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Val McDermidprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brinkman, SophieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Durand, Gérard-HenriTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Glynn, PaddyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grinde, HeidiOvers.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martín, FranciscoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paddy GlynnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Page, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Struys, Wouter van derCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
You shall be taken to the place from whence you came, and thence to a place of lawful execution, and there you shall be hanged by the neck until you be dead, and afterwards your body shall be buried in a common grave within the precints of the prison wherein you were last confined before your execution; and may the Lord have mercy on your soul.
-- The formal death sentence of the English legal system.
Le Pendu: The Hanged Man

Divinatory meaning: The card suggests life in suspension. Reversal of mind and one's way of life. Transition. Abandonment. Renunciation. The changing of life's forces. Readjustment. Regeneration. Rebirth. Improvement. Efforts and sacrifice may have to be undertaken to succeed towards a goal which may not be reached.

Tarot Cards for Fun and Fortune Telling

S. R. Kaplan
Dedication
To my evil twin; laissez les bon temps rouler, cher.
First words
Like Alison Carter, I was born in Derbyshire in 1950.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

A riveting psychological thriller, now a major ITV drama, from the Number One bestselling Queen of crime fiction Val McDermid. In the Peak District village of Scarsdale, thirteen-year-old girls didn't just run away. So when Alison Carter vanished in the winter of '63, everyone knew it was a murder. Catherine Heathcote remembers the case well. A child herself when Alison vanished, decades on she still recalls the sense of fear as parents kept their children close, terrified of strangers. Now a journalist, she persuades DI George Bennett to speak of the hunt for Alison, the tantalizing leads and harrowing dead ends. But when a fresh lead emerges, Bennett tries to stop the story - plunging Catherine into a world of buried secrets and revelations.

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