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Notes on an execution

Danya Kukafka
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Danya Kukafka

Notes on an execution

Notes on Execution is no ordinary crime novel. The perpetrator, Ansel Packer, is already introduced in the first chapter and is in prison awaiting execution for the murder of several girls. Through the perspective of Ansel’s mother Lavender, we learn about his early childhood, marked by loneliness and violence. After his mother’s escape, Ansel is left alone with his brother Ellis, who is a few months old. When they enter foster care, their paths separate. Other foster children find Ansel attractive, charismatic and mysterious. The little girl Saffron learns also about his dark side when she catches him killing animals, but she doesn’t confide this to anyone. Saffron later becomes a crime investigator and her traumatic childhood experience continues to haunt her. Suspecting that Ansel is responsible for the murders of the three girls, she undertakes an unofficial investigation. As narrators act also Hazel, the sister of Ansel’s partner, who also distrusts him, and Blue, Ellis’s daughter, with whom Ansel develops a friendly relationship. The author raises questions about the death penalty, morality and fatal acts. She does not focus only on the killer, but also on the lives of the women who were affected by his actions.

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