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Extended Audio Sample A Place of Execution, by Val McDermid Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (54 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Val McDermid Narrator: Paddy Glynn Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Winter 1963: two children have disappeared off the streets of Manchester; the murderous careers of Myra Hindley and Ian Brady have begun. On a freezing day in December, another child goes missing: 13-year-old Alison Carter vanishes from her town, an insular community that distrusts the outside world. For the young George Bennett, a newly promoted inspector, it is the beginning of his most difficult and harrowing case: a murder with no body, an investigation with more dead ends and closed faces than he’d have found in the anonymity of the inner city, and an outcome which reverberates through the years.

Decades later he finally tells his story to journalist Catherine Heathcote, but just when the book is poised for publication, Bennett unaccountably tries to pull the plug. He has new information which he refuses to divulge, new information that threatens the very foundations of his existence. Catherine is forced to re-investigate the past, with results that turn the world upside down.

A Greek tragedy in modern England, A Place of Execution is a taut psychological thriller that explores, exposes and explodes the border between reality and illusion in a multi-layered narrative that turns expectations on their head and reminds us that what we know is what we do not know.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Val McDermid’s elegiac study of a heinous crime and its aftermath, is very much in the (P. D.) Jamesian mode, both in its inventive use of devices of detection and its mournful view of murder as a moral reckoning.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “One of the most ingenious mystery novels ever.”


  • “Inventively conceived and wonderfully written…A marvel from start to finish.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Val McDemid’s best work to date.”

    Times Literary Supplement (London)

  • “Val McDermid has created a novel so intense and vivid that the reader suspends her own reality and enters the world of Scardale in 1963. The story is tightly told with characters so memorable that they become part of our life. A brilliantly logical denouement stuns and shatters us, making this a most remarkable reading experience.”

    Romantic Times

  • “McDermid…generates curiosity and, finally, whiplash surprise.”

    Atlantic Monthly

  • “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.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • Winner of the 2000 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller
  • Winner of the 2001 Anthony Award for Best Novel
  • Winner of the 2000 Barry Award for Best British Crime Novel
  • A 2001 Macavity Award Finalist for Best Mystery Novel
  • A 2001 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee for Best Novel

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Joe O'c | 7/5/2013

    " Very Good; covers how to get things done by focusing on Wildly Important Goals "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kelly Mc Math | 2/6/2013

    " Extremely practical and tactical advice on how to get stuff done and how to get other people to get stuff done. Great balance between teaching the concepts and making them actionable. I've started to implement the 4DX strategy and it's working for me! Good stuff! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Don Weidinger | 1/5/2013

    " one/time, focus to wig wildly imp goal, lead measures, 80/20 focus, compelling scoreboard, rhythm of accountability. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kristen | 9/10/2011

    " Great for implementing goals and accountability. Read this for work and I also want to use it in my personal life. "

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