Notes on an Execution by Danya Kukafka
Literary Fiction | Mystery | Crime
'You can do the vilest thing. It's not so hard, to be bad. Evil isn't something you can pinpoint or hold, cradle or banish. Evil hides, sly and invisible, in the corners of everything else.'
This was a book I was drawn to purely because of the cover. I have no shame in admitting that book cover designs are a key factor in influencing on what books I buy. It's really difficult for an author to write a deliberately slow-paced story whilst keeping the reader on edge the entire time. Throughout this book, I felt very on edge and uncomfortable, especially in chapters from Packer's perspective. There was nothing overtly aggressive about Packer initially, but his own persona made me nervous. It was like watching a scary film and peeking through my fingers. This wasn't even an explicit horror book. I'm excited to read more of Kukafka's work because the writing style was just flawless.
Everything about this book from the characters to the plot was brilliant and I genuinely can't think of anything that could have been done better. You really want to get inside and understand the mindset of a character like Packer, and yet, I kind of don't want to come across someone like that again. Each character was thoughtfully written and developed (not an easy thing to do).
When I posted about this book on my Instagram, the most common response was people sharing much they loved the writing style. I'm definitely going to be adding the rest of Kukafka's work to my TBR pile. Reading Notes on an Execution has just made me very excited to see what she writes in the future.
In twelve hours, Ansel Packer is to be executed. He knows what he's done but doesn't want to die. He just wants to be celebrated. Through the memories of the different women who knew him, the crimes of Packer begin to unfold, the curtain drawn back on the nature of this monster.
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Where can I get a copy?
This book is one of many brilliant reads that I have organised into a Memorable Reads category (five-star books). Any commission collection from the Bookshop will be redirected to the Malala Fund