Book - A Place Of Execution




Val McDermid - 2006
Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780007217144
A Place Of Execution
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This is by far the best novel I've read all year! Not only does it possess an intriguing and tightly paced plot, but it also boasts of a prose style and language that will be appreciated by readers everywhere.

The mystery takes place in the early 1960s in the small close-knit northern village of Scardale-- a community that appears to be cut off from the modern world. A young 13 year old girl, Alison Carter, has gone missing. The back drop to this is the disappearance of two other children from other northern towns. Tensions mount as the police try to figure out if there is some kind of link between the three cases, and if there is a mad man at work; or if Alison's disappearance is a one off and the work of someone closer to home and equally sinister. DCI George Bennett, who heads the search/investigation for the missing girl, realises that he's not only facing a time constraint to finding her alive but also the insular distrusting attitude of the villagers, who may because of their suspicious natures be hindering the investigation.

The book is divided into two parts. The first section deals with the police investigation of Alison's disappearance; and later as they begin to doubt ever finding her alive, the search for her killer. We also get a look at how the police put their case together for the Crown, and the trial. The second part of the book takes place in the late 1990s when, a reporter, Catherine Heathcote, decides to write a book about Alison.

I was totally engrossed with this book. Cooking and eating dinner took a definite backseat as I delved into the twists and turns of the novel. And there was a plot twist unlike anything I've ever read before. I really enjoyed this book immensely and recommend it highly to anyone to enjoys mysteries. Sadly, novels of this caliber do not come often enough. This is a definite gem, and worthy of the five star rating.