I don’t read a lot of thrillers and murders mainly because I don’t like the gore and violence but what I like about Val McDermid is she seems to shun the gore and violence that so many thrillers depend on. However, McDermid fills her novels with plenty to puzzle over with lots of clues, red herrings and more.
"A Place of Execution" is a well-plotted thriller which tackles issues from depravity and vengeance to sin, deceit, guilt and justice It purposely leaves the questions it asks unanswered, forcing its readers to come to their own opinions on each of these issues. From the very beginning I was hooked. With a missing girl, a close-knit community that despises interference from outsiders and set in the early 1960’s around the time of the Moors Murders, this book was a winner for me. As usual McDermid’s characters are believable and each one plays their part perfectly by building up feelings of apprehension mingled with curiosity, giving the reader the urge to keep on reading until the truth is uncovered. The atmosphere created by McDermid is electric, there is so much tension as the police continue their investigation and the feeling of hostility from the people of Scardale who seem to know more than they're letting on. This really keeps the reader going and rewards us with a great and surprising ending. Possible Val McDermid’s best yet!