A Place of Execution by Val McDermid



A place of execution A Place of ExecutionVal McDermid; St. Martin’s Paperbacks 2001WorldCat

It is 1963. Thirteen-year-old Alison Carter has disappeared from her isolated English village. The community of Scardale does not trust the people outside their valley. When the police come to investigate the incident, they gather together to protect their own even as they try to find Alison.

George Bennett is the police investigator in charge of the case. It is very difficult for him to do his job properly because the townsfolk only tell him so much, and no more. He has to drag information out of them; sometimes they assume he knows more than he does. Finding Alison or her abductor becomes an obsession with him. The police quickly discover the evidence that Alison did not leave on her own. But they are stalled in the investigation to find out what did happen to her.

Even after the immediacy of the case is past, Bennett and his sergeant, Tommy Clough, keep at it. They make sure they get to the village once or twice a week letting the villagers know that Alison has not been forgotten. Eventually, some clue is bound to come to light.

This is an intense psychological thriller. By the time the reader puts the book down, the title has taken on a completely different meaning than the original reference. This book kept my attention throughout. I read this with a reading group and others found it slower going than I did. I had to keep with it; had to keep up with Bennett. The story is fascinating as it unfolds in 1963 and 1964. Then, when it is revisited in the 1990’s, it explodes. I found it excellent.

Notice: Non-graphic violence, Suggestive dialogue or situations

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