notes on an execution, book review

Ansel Packer is scheduled to die in twelve hours.

He knows what he’s done, and now awaits the same fate he forced on those girls, years ago. Ansel doesn’t want to die; he wants to be celebrated, understood. 

But this is not his story. 

As the clock ticks down, three women uncover the history of a tragedy and the long shadow it casts. Lavender, Ansel’s mother, is a seventeen-year-old girl pushed to desperation. Hazel, twin sister to his wife, is forced to watch helplessly as the relationship threatens to devour them all. And Saffy, the detective hot on his trail, is devoted to bringing bad men to justice but struggling to see her own life clearly. 

This is the story of the women left behind.

Duffy’s Thoughts on Notes an an Execution

If you follow my blog and socials, you’ll know that I am a fan of dark twisty thrillers and true crime documentaries. So, when I had the opportunity to read Notes on an Execution, I was all in.

I was drawn to the book because it explores the cultural obsession we have with serial killers and the celebrity that surrounds them, and in parallel follows the women who are drawn into their orbits.

Notes on an Execution is a switch up with both approach and prose. It’s very cleverly written, however, I really couldn’t get a grip on any of the characters. Just two months after reading the book, I’m struggling to even recall parts of the book and the characters.

I know that I enjoyed the read at the time and read the book in just two sittings, however for me, there wasn’t enough of a ‘hook’ to have a lasting impression on me. This is a real shame because the storyline is a very unique and interesting one.

The Goodreads reviews are. overwhelmingly positive, with just a few who felt the way I did, so it could be an ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ thing!

Notes on an Execution published by Hachette and available from Booktopia and all good bookstores

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