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A Place of Execution by Val McDermid
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A Place of Execution (original 1999; edition 2001)

by Val McDermid

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1,268326,225 (4.04)79
Member:mckmueller
Title:A Place of Execution
Authors:Val McDermid
Info:St. Martin's Paperbacks (2001), Mass Market Paperback
Collections:Your library
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Tags:slow, scholarly, academic setting, couples

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A Place of Execution by Val McDermid (1999)

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Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
Excellent murder mystery set in the English countryside with the village in question having a dark secret. Really well done. ( )
  kale.dyer | 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 |
very riveting. there's always a sense that something is not as it seems but i never guessed what it was. the plot around the policeman is convincing and makes the book a bit more than just a whodunnit ( )
  pepe68 | Jan 14, 2016 |
An incredible stand-alone volume from Val McDermid. I found this novel almost impossible to put down (but one has to make tea and sleep, you know). A very cleverly-framed text, you don't quite know where you're at with this murder mystery. What at first looks like a rather neat and tidy investigation with no (or minimal) loose ends, turns out to be something else entirely.

Murder in a small, traditional English country town set in both the 1960s and modern day. And there's always a cup of tea to be had. I appreciate a writer who understands the importance of tea! ;)

It's also nothing like the Kate Brannigan series, which I started reading after this, my first McDermid book. ( )
1 vote jselliott | Dec 5, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Val McDermidprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
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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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312979533, Mass Market Paperback)

Penzler Pick, August 2000: Val McDermid, better known in England than in the U.S., is a well respected writer of crime fiction. Her three ongoing mystery series feature red-haired PI Kate Brannigan; Lindsay Gordon, a lesbian socialist journalist, and Tony Hill and Carol Jordan, clinical psychologist and detective inspector respectively. A Place of Execution is McDermid's first stand-alone mystery, and with it, she redefines the term "village mystery."

It is 1963, the Beatles are becoming wildly popular in England, and the Swinging Sixties are about to change the post-war Western world. But in the village of Scardale in the Peaks District of Derbyshire, a desolate area beloved of hikers and climbers, nothing has changed for hundreds of years. The village has remained small and insular--most villagers are related, and the most common second names are Carter and Lomas. When Alison Carter, aged 13, disappears while walking her dog, the case is given to a young detective inspector named George Bennett. As Bennett gets to know the families in the village and their concerns, he realizes that this case is not as simple as it first seems. The villagers seem to be closing ranks, and Bennett suspects they may be protecting one of their own. Central to his investigation are Alison's mother and her husband. When Ruth Carter remarried, she chose Philip Hawkin, an outsider who is now the current squire of the village. As Alison's stepfather, he raises all kinds of red flags for Bennett. But so does Alison's close relationship with her cousin Charlie who, too conveniently, it seems, finds a vital clue.

All this is complicated by the fact that the police and the villagers cannot find Alison's body; there are also other disappearances in the area which may or may not be connected. To reveal more about this riveting mystery would be to give too much away. McDermid takes the reader through a maze of conflicting facts and theories, and when Bennett, with the help of local police, solves the case, the real story is only just beginning--especially for Bennett, who will question not only his own part in solving this case, but ultimately the profession he has chosen. --Otto Penzler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:04 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Winter 1963: two children have disappeared in Manchester; the murderous careers of Myra Hindley and Ian Brady have begun. On a freezing day in December, another child goes missing: 13-year-old Alison Carter vanishes from the isolated Derbyshire hamlet of Scardale. For the young George Bennett 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 inner city; an outcome that reverberates down the years. Decades later he tells his story to journalist Catherine Heathcote, but just when her book is poised for publication, Bennett tries to pull the plug. He has new information that he will not divulge, and that threatens the very foundation of his existence. Catherine is forced to reinvestigate the past, with results that turn the world upside down. A taut psychological thriller that explores, exposes and explodes the border between reality and illusion in a multilayered narrative that turns expectations on their head and reminds us that what we know is what we do not know...… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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