A Place of Execution

A Place of Execution

4.1 (7,187 ratings by Goodreads)
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Winter 1963: two children have disappeared off the streets of Manchester; the murderous careers of Myra Hindley and Ian Brady have begun. On a freezlng 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. "A Place of Execution" is winner of the 2000 "Los Angeles Times" Book Prize and a 2001 Edgar Award Nominee for Best Novel.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 480 pages
  • 101.6 x 170.18 x 33.02mm | 113.4g
  • St Martin's Press
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0312979533
  • 9780312979539
  • 64,180

About Val McDermid

Val McDermid lives in Great Britain.show more

Back cover copy

On a freezing day in December 1963, thirteen-year-old Alison Carter vanishes from her village. Nothing will ever be the same again for the inhabitants of the isolated hamlet in the English countryside. For the young George Bennett, a newly promoted inspector, he is determined to solve this case -- even if it is just to bring home a daughter's dead body to her mother.As days progress, the likelihood that Alison has been murdered increases when a gruesome discovery is made in a cave. But with no corpse, the barest of clues, and an investigation that turns up more questions than answers, Bennett finds himself up against a stone wall...until he learns the shocking truth -- a truth that will have far-reaching consequences.Decades later, Bennett finally tells his story to journalist Catherine Heathcote. But just when the book is poised for publication, he pulls the plug on it without explanation. He has new information that he will not divulge. Refusing to let the past remain a mystery, Catherine sets out to uncover what really happened to Alison Carter. But the secret is one she might wish she'd left buried on that cold, dark day thirty-five years ago.show more

Review quote

"One of the most ingenious mystery novels ever."--"Newsday" "Inventivly conceived and wonderfully written...A marvel from start to finish."--"Wall Street Journal" "Val McDemid's best work to date."--"Times Literary Supplement"show more

Rating details

7,187 ratings
4.1 out of 5 stars
5 37% (2,678)
4 41% (2,963)
3 17% (1,233)
2 3% (233)
1 1% (80)
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