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Notes on an Execution

Danya Kukafka

5 Reviews

Rated 0

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

The devastating and unforgettable second novel from the author of international bestseller Girl In Snow, telling the story of a serial killer on death row through the eyes of three women in his life

Ansel Packer is scheduled to die in twelve hours. He knows what he's done, and now awaits the same chilling fate he forced on those girls, years ago. But Ansel doesn't want to die; he wants to be celebrated, understood. He hoped it wouldn't end like this, not for him.

Through a kaleidoscope of women, we learn the story of Ansel's life. We meet his mother, Lavender, a seventeen-year-old girl pushed to desperation. We meet Hazel, twin sister to Ansel's wife, inseparable since birth, forced to watch helplessly as her sister's relationship threatens to devour them all. And finally, Saffy, the homicide detective hot on his trail, who has devoted herself to bringing bad men to justice but struggles to see her own life clearly. As the clock ticks down to Ansel's execution, these three women sift through the choices that culminate in tragedy, exploring the rippling fissures that such destruction inevitably leaves in its wake.

Blending breathtaking suspense with astonishing empathy, Notes On An Execution presents a chilling portrait of womanhood as it unravels the familiar narrative of the American serial killer, interrogating the justice system and our cultural obsession with crime stories and asking readers to consider the false promise of looking for meaning in the psyches of violent men.

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Praise for Notes on an Execution

  • Spellbinding and beautifully written. Danya Kukafka's Notes on an Execution is an irresistible, unbearably tense thriller, a poignant, deeply compassionate tale of resilience, and a vital intervention in the way we talk about violent crime, its endless reverberations and foremost its survivors. - Megan Abbott, author of Dare Me

  • A searing portrait of the complicated women caught in the orbit of a serial killer. Notes on an Execution examines a culture that romanticizes men who kill while also exploring the lives of the overlooked women altered by this violence. Compassionate and thought-provoking. - Brit Bennett, bestselling author of The Vanishing Half

  • Reading Danya Kukafka's Notes on an Execution is a profound and staggering experience of empathy that challenges us to confront what it means to be human in our darkest moments. The stories of these richly drawn characters are layered like nesting dolls, each one revealing more about how we love and how we survive. Kukafka's prose, alive and poetic, is unforgettable. I relished every page of this brilliant and gripping masterpiece - Ashley Audrain, New York Times bestselling author of The Push

  • Spellbinding and beautifully written. Danya Kukafka's Notes on an Execution is an irresistible, unbearably tense thriller, a poignant, deeply compassionate tale of resilience, and a vital intervention in the way we talk about violent crime, its endless reverberations and foremost its survivors. - Megan Abbott, author of Dare Me

  • A searing portrait of the complicated women caught in the orbit of a serial killer. Notes on an Execution examines a culture that romanticizes men who kill while also exploring the lives of the overlooked women altered by this violence. Compassionate and thought-provoking. - Brit Bennett, bestselling author of The Vanishing Half

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