NATIONAL BESTSELLER - NEW YORK TIMES BEST CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR
"Defiantly populated with living women . . . beautifully drawn, dense with detail and specificity . . . Notes on an Execution is nuanced, ambitious and compelling." --Katie Kitamura, NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW (Editors' Choice)
"A searing portrait of the complicated women caught in the orbit of a serial killer. . . . Compassionate and thought-provoking." -BRIT BENNETT, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Half
Recommended by New York Times Book Review - Los Angeles Times - Washington Post - Entertainment Weekly - Esquire - Good Housekeeping - USA Today - Buzzfeed - Goodreads - Real Simple - Marie Claire - Rolling Stone - Business Insider - Bustle - PopSugar - The Millions - The Guardian - and many more!
In the tradition of Long Bright River and The Mars Room, a gripping and atmospheric work of literary suspense that deconstructs the story of a serial killer on death row, told primarily through the eyes of the women in his life--from the bestselling author of Girl in Snow.
Ansel Packer is scheduled to die in twelve hours. He knows what he's done, and now awaits execution, the same chilling fate he forced on those girls, years ago. But Ansel doesn't want to die; he wants to be celebrated, understood.
Through a kaleidoscope of women--a mother, a sister, a homicide detective--we learn the story of Ansel's life. We meet his mother, Lavender, a seventeen-year-old girl pushed to desperation; 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 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, 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 simultaneously unravels the familiar narrative of the American serial killer, interrogating our system of justice and our cultural obsession with crime stories, asking readers to consider the false promise of looking for meaning in the psyches of violent men.
"Poetic and mesmerizing . . . Powerful, important, intensely human, and filled with a unique examination of tragedy, one where the reader is left with a curious emotion: hope." --USA TODAY
"A profound and staggering experience of empathy that challenges us to confront what it means to be human in our darkest moments. . . . I relished every page of this brilliant and gripping masterpiece."--ASHLEY AUDRAIN, New York Times bestselling author of The Push
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, award-winning 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, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Half
"Bewitching . . . In [Kukafka's] capable hands, villainy turns out to be everywhere and nowhere, a DNA that could be found under the fingernails of everybody's hands."--Marisha Pessl, New York Times Book Review (Editor's Choice), on Girl in Snow
"Elegiac and involving . . . engagingly told . . . its endearing characters' struggles linger in memory after this affecting work is done."--Wall Street Journal on Girl in Snow
A perfectly-paced and tautly-plotted thriller. Danya Kukafka's misfit characters are richly drawn, her prose is both elegant and eerie . . . incredibly accomplished."--Paula Hawkins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train, on Girl in Snow
"Sensational . . . great characters, mysteries within mysteries, and page-turning pace. Highly recommended."--Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Jack Reacher novels, on Girl in Snow