Notes on an Execution
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. He hoped it wouldn’t end like this, not for him.
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. 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, 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.
Praise For Notes on an Execution: A Novel…
— 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
"From its startling opening line right through to its stunning conclusion, Girl in Snow is a perfectly-paced and tautly-plotted thriller. Danya Kukafka's misfit characters are richly drawn, her prose is both elegant and eerie—this is an incredibly accomplished debut.”
— Paula Hawkins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train and Into the Water
“An exciting debut from a talented new voice. Girl in Snow is a propulsive mystery set in a suburban community marked by unsettling voyeurism. Danya Kukafka patiently reveals layers of her characters’ inner lives—their ugliness and vulnerabilities—in prose that sparkles and wounds. I couldn’t put this one down.”
— Brit Bennett, New York Times bestselling author of The Mothers
“A sensational debut—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
William Morrow, 9780063052734, 272pp.
Publication Date: January 11, 2022