A Place of Execution and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available.
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item.
Details
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
A Place of Execution has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

A Place of Execution Mass Market Paperback – September 17, 2001


See all 35 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
$7.99
$4.89 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Check out The Amazon Book Review, our editors' fresh new blog featuring interviews with authors, book reviews, quirky essays on book trends, and regular columns by our editors. Explore now
$7.99 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

A Place of Execution + The Last Temptation: A Novel (Dr. Tony Hill & Carol Jordan Mysteries)
Price for both: $15.98

One of these items ships sooner than the other.

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

This superb novel should make Gold Dagger-nominee McDermid's reputation and bring her new readers in droves. It's December 1963 and teenage girls all over Britain are swooning to the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand." In the tiny, remote village of Scardale, Derbyshire, 13-year-old Alison Carter is envied by her peers because her stepfather buys her all the latest records. When Alison goes missing one dark night, Dist. Insp. George Bennett takes control of the case, despite being new to the job and the district. Other children have gone missing recently from towns and cities in the north, but somehow Alison's case is different. Although the police feverishly track down clues and organize searches over the moors, any hope that they'll find the girl fades as the days go by. Obsessed by the case, George is tormented by his lack of success and by the suffering of Alison's mother. Little more can be said without giving away key plot points, but McDermid spins a haunting tale whose complexity never masks her adroitness at creating memorable characters and scenes. Her narrative spell is such that the reader is immersed immediately in the rural Britain of the early '60s. She clearly did extensive research on how police work was done at the time, and it has paid off beautifully. The format of the novel is unusual, with much of it purporting to be a true crime book, but McDermid keeps the suspense taut, and her pacing never flags. This is an extraordinary achievement, and it's sure to be on many lists of the best mysteries of the year. 10-city author tour. (Sept. 20)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks; 1st edition (September 17, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312979533
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312979539
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.3 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (194 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #609,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

I have both read the book and listened to the audiobook.
Patrick W. Crabtree
The author is clearly a superlative writer, with real talent for writing intricately plotted mysteries, while creating memorable characters.
Lawyeraau
I really enjoyed this book immensely and recommend it highly to anyone to enjoys mysteries.
tregatt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

110 of 113 people found the following review helpful By tregatt on August 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
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.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
56 of 58 people found the following review helpful By taking a rest HALL OF FAME on September 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I think one good measure of a mystery is how early in the book you can make an educated guess about what the truth is. If the solution is apparent too soon, bad mystery, the farther into the book you have to travel, can indicate just how clever the writing has been. Wild guesses don't count.
This is the first book I have read by Ms. Val Mcdermid, I will be backtracking to her earlier work, and whatever comes next is an automatic purchase. This lady writes an amazing story. Even though the book runs to 404 pages, you will be in a select group if the riddles are solved much before the last several dozen pages. And if it is the last dozen, don't worry, this Authoress is that good at not showing her hand, her complete hand until the very end.
The book is set in a contemporary time frame, but the isolated nature of where the story unfolds makes the reader feel as though it's the 19th and not the 20th Century. Ms. Mcdermid also plays with what may or may not actually be true. From the very beginning, even prior to the start of the story, the reader is getting set up, or perhaps misdirected, for the Author's voice and the voice of the Author in the tale share a line that is indistinct at best. I thought it very clever, and it added an interesting element that stayed at the back of my mind throughout the work.
I finished the book on a very stormy night, which could have been taken directly from the book. The storm had driven my 8-year-old son into the room. When I finished, Ms. Mcdermid had succeeded in scaring the blazes from me. I suggested my son might want to keep the light on for a bit. To my disappointment he said no.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By "scottish_lawyer" on August 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In modern British fiction writing much of the interesting work (engaging with social issues, politics, and class) is found with genre writers. As some novelists retreat into an insular examination of the lives and loves of writers (and other creative types), genre writers - in dealing with the underside of humanity - can examine the big questions. At the vanguard of modern British crime writing are the likes of Ruth Rendell, Denise Mina, John Harvey, Michael Dibdin, and the writer of the book under review, Val McDermid.
McDermid is an interesting writer. Her previous books have included a PI series, and pyschological thrillers that geuninely shock (such as The Mermaids Singing). This book, A Place of Execution, is something of a departure.
It falls readily into two principal parts. The first section comprises a police procedural. It is set at the time of the notorious Moors Murders in 1963 (what is it with British writers and 1963? John Lawton's A Little White Death and Reginald Hill's Recalled to Life, also use the year as a starting point). The Moors Murders were child killings that horrified British society and still have an effect today. As the novel opens a child goes missing in a small isolated village. The child is the step daughter of the local squire. A new police inspector is involved, and this first section follows his investigation. It is written in the third person, but the chief protagonist is the inspector and we follow his attempts to win the trust of the small community, and the police politics that is played out in the background. One does not wish to give too much away about the investigation, as there are a number of twists throughout this section.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews