Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
Notes on an Execution
Notes on an Execution: A Novel | Danya Kukafka
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 lifefrom the bestselling author of Girl in Snow. Ansel Packer is scheduled to die in twelve hours. He knows what hes done, and now awaits execution, the same chilling fate he forced on those girls, years ago. But Ansel doesnt want to die; he wants to be celebrated, understood. He hoped it wouldnt end like this, not for him. Through a kaleidoscope of womena mother, a sister, a homicide detectivewe learn the story of Ansels life. We meet his mother, Lavender, a seventeen-year-old girl pushed to desperation; Hazel, twin sister to Ansels wife, inseparable since birth, forced to watch helplessly as her sisters 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.
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
blurb
Sleepswithbooks
post image

Are we on book 4 already? Great idea starting this book off with such a loaded question @BooksNBowls !

#LitsyloveWritesNBooks #ReadwithFriends

review
Ruthiella
post image
Pickpick

This book reminded me some of Rene Denfeld‘s The Enchanted in its theme, though it is written in a much more straightforward style. It‘s similar in that it doesn‘t shy away from the ugly and it tries to give a balanced view of how a killer might be made, without ever excusing the crime or the criminal. Not a standard mystery, but still gripping in its way as it counts down the hours to the state execution. This is a #BlameitonLitsy book for me.

Ruthiella For you @BarbaraBB ! Don‘t review everything I read on Litsy-lazy me! 😬 But I think it was @Cinfhen ‘s review that clinched it and made me put it on hold at the library! 😃 1w
BarbaraBB Very much appreciated ❤️ I want to read it too since I read @Cinfhen ‘s reviews and your review confirms that I want to! 1w
Cinfhen I‘m glad you picked it up @Ruthiella and im even happier that you “enjoyed” - although enjoy is probably the wrong word - it‘s a difficult story 💔 1w
See All 7 Comments
Cinfhen I do think this is a book you‘d appreciate @BarbaraBB 1w
BarbaraBB @Cinfhen Just got my copy! 7d
Cinfhen Yay @BarbaraBB !! Can‘t wait to hear your thoughts 7d
BarbaraBB I think I‘ll read during Christmas break! 7d
56 likes7 comments
blurb
SanjanaGhosh
post image

Love a weird first line!

review
Blackink_WhitePaper
post image
Pickpick

An interesting book cos of multiple POV & diverse characters. I really enjoyed this one even though it doesn‘t feel like a thriller / detective one. Few details & events felt unnecessary but crafting of the story is brilliant. And I loved that name Saffron 🧡 one must read this for the writing style, crisp proses & vivid characters. 4.5⭐️ this was my Nov #bookspin #bookspinbingo

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 2w
44 likes1 comment
review
vlwelser
post image
Pickpick

This manages to be a sort of thriller while also making you think about how circumstances dictate possible outcomes. I liked it. Even felt slightly sorry for the bad dude. At times. Not often.

I REALLY like this author.

#BookSpinBingo @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 3w
42 likes1 stack add1 comment
blurb
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
post image

49 pages in and good so far, but it‘s only 430 and I‘m ready to go to bed! I hate this time change!! Hopefully this is the last “fall back!”

#LitsyLoveWritesInBooks
#LitsyLove
#LitsyLoveReads

StayCurious I agree but I do prefer getting an extra hour as opposed to in spring when we lose an hour! 4w
Sleepswithbooks I‘m with @StayCurious However, I‘ve been awake since 4am and it bites 🧛🏽‍♂️ 4w
Bookwormjillk I am just hoping to stay awake until 8 pm! 4w
lele1432 Ugh I hate the darkness lol. The older I get the less I appreciate the extra hour because after that it‘s just so dark all the time. I‘ve heard good things about this book and can‘t wait to read it! 4w
70 likes4 comments
blurb
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
post image

Starting this one today for #LitsyLoveWritesNBooks 💜

Anyone read it?

Cinfhen I just did!!! It‘s a bit long but worth the time. I did audio, which was really good. Hope you like it❣️ 4w
Viji Yes I read it a few months ago. I‘ve been really into crime podcasts lately so this caught my eye, even though it‘s fictional. I liked the different POVs. 4w
69 likes2 comments
review
Cinfhen
post image
Pickpick

Notes on An Execution was a total mind f@ck. The multiple POV really helped put me in the mindset of both the hunter, hunted and haunted. Parts of the story did drag but the overall arc of the plot was super satisfying. I really like when creepy thrillers leave you pondering morals, ethics and society‘s norms. The US Justice system is definitely flawed and this book was insightful and informative. Really well done. Great on audio 💕

Cinfhen I definitely think you‘re gonna like this one @BarbaraBB 1mo
Cinfhen You too @TrishB because #SerialKiller 🗡🔪 1mo
TrishB Went away to have a look and already have on my kindle 😁 result! 1mo
See All 8 Comments
Cinfhen Yay!!! @TrishB lmk if you get around to it!!! 1mo
squirrelbrain Great review Cindy! I just did the same as you @TrishB and I also have it! I actually think I bought it as it was longlisted for #camplitsy @BarbaraBB 1mo
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain Yes it was, I might have even nominated it myself. Anyhow I have been interested in it ever since! 1mo
Megabooks This is sitting on my shelf but I‘ve been a little nervous! 🫣 great review! 1mo
Cinfhen It‘s not GORY at all @Megabooks it‘s more of a psychological study of how people‘s actions have consequences that ultimately affect other people. It‘s really good - @BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain @TrishB 1mo
69 likes1 stack add8 comments
blurb
Cinfhen
post image
BarbaraBB Very curious about this one! 1mo
Cinfhen It‘s EXCELLENT on audio so far @BarbaraBB I‘m not sure if I‘d like it as much in print but I tend to prefer audio 99% of the time so not sure if that really means anything xx 1mo
Cinfhen BTW @BarbaraBB Z LOVED your suggestions- thanks so much xx 1mo
See All 6 Comments
BarbaraBB I am glad he does. Still waiting for my lazy kids to come up with some suggestions for the clubs! 1mo
BarbaraBB Thomas just messaged me about the best clubs. I added a little warning about drugs… 🤷🏻‍♀️ 1mo
Cinfhen Just saw and TOTALLY appreciate your motherly advice @BarbaraBB 😘 1mo
52 likes6 comments
review
Laughterhp
post image
Pickpick

Wow! This book! Don‘t want to say too much since it‘s a #LitsyLoveWritesNBooks read. I would have never picked up this book on my own! Great pick!

This was mailed out on Friday!

#teammonstermash #scarathlon2022 #31by31 #spookoween #pointsathon #theoctoberreadathon

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I can‘t wait to read this one! 1mo
DieAReader 🎉🎉🎉 1mo
Catsandbooks 🙌🏼👻🧡 1mo
TheSpineView Awesome 1mo
52 likes1 stack add4 comments
review
DarkMina
post image
Pickpick

56 of 2022. ⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

blurb
LaraS
post image

#scarathalondailyprompt: Killer #TeamMonsterMash @StayCurious

As a man is waiting for his execution on death row, we hear the story of how he got there thought the eyes of the women in his life. It dragged a bit but I really liked the way the story was framed.

...and also a perfectly matched photo of the local fox who seems to have successfully “hunted“ a hot dog...probably from an unsuspecting neighbour who turned their back on the BBQ...

kbibliophilific Great book 2mo
7 likes1 comment
review
CaitlinByTheBook
post image
Pickpick

I borrowed this one from the library since I wasn't sure how much I'd like it. I read a good amount of true crime so I was skeptical about reading a novel about a serial killer on death row. Ultimately, I did find this book to be very good. It is definitely literary fiction which won't be for everyone. It was gritty and some parts were rough. Also, the author kept referencing the smell of character's breath. I could do without that! 4 ⭐

Chelsea.Poole I really liked this one! 2mo
12 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
AbstractMonica
post image
Pickpick

Great writing and a grim story I couldn‘t put down.

review
BooksNBowls
post image
Pickpick

Wow wow wow! Great book on a tough and controversial subject. This had my feelings on the antagonist going back and forth. Perfect balance with the different POVs. I am so excited for my group to read this one! 4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

41 likes3 stack adds
review
she.hearts.horror
post image
Pickpick

☠️☠️☠️. May I never see the word “Theory” again 😭

blurb
Clwojick
post image

It was a slow start to the #AwesomeAugust Readathon for me this weekend. I‘ve finished Notes on an Execution, and A Beautiful Corpse, and am now just getting started on The Adults for #AugustARC. Not averaging 2 books a day, but there‘s still hope! @Andrew65

Andrew65 The beauty of the nine day readathon is that you have time to make up for some off reading days. 4mo
Clwojick @Andrew65 Agreed! 3mo
PageShifter Nice covers! 👍 3mo
59 likes3 comments
blurb
Clwojick
post image

#AwesomeAugust goals:

👉🏻Read my hold Notes On an Execution
👉🏻Finish at least 9 books for #AugustARC
👉🏻Average 2 books a day, by finishing a minimum of 18 total books

@Andrew65

Andrew65 Best of luck 😁 18 books is a great target 😳 4mo
58 likes1 comment
review
LoverOfLearning
post image
Pickpick

Damn that ending got me! 🥲

Wow, brilliant writing and a strong theme throughout.

The questions remain who are we, what are we capable of, and how could we have done it better?

12 hours until Ansels execution as he reflects on his past as 3 females evaluate his existence.

5 out 5.

MysticFaerie I really enjoyed this book! 4mo
LoverOfLearning @MysticFaerie I was gonna give it a 4 until that ending. Describing the victims in an alternative universe. 5 stars right there. ! 4mo
45 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
Cazxxx
post image
Pickpick

Many messages to be taken from this book. How the choices of one person can affect so many peoples lives. I did wish it was written more from the womens pov rather than as much from the murderer and detective. A pick overall

44 likes1 stack add
quote
BittersweetBooks
post image

There is good and there is evil, and the contradiction lives in everyone. The good is simply the stuff worth remembering. The good is the point of it all 😈😇

18 likes1 stack add
review
MysticFaerie
post image
Pickpick

4⭐/5⭐

blurb
Megabooks
post image

Not sure if anyone‘s posted about this yet, but Amazon‘s running 3 for 2 right now, so I bought some from my wishlist. 🤫👍🏻

actualdisneyprincess I started “A Very Nice Girl” and didn‘t get more than five pages in, I hated the way it was written. 😬 Let me know if it‘s worth a second chance! 💖 6mo
JenReadsAlot Oh thanks! I'm going shopping when I get home from work! 6mo
JamieArc I recently purchased the new Shipstead book. Who knows when I‘ll actually get to it, but I‘ll be curious to see your thoughts. I‘m assuming you‘ve received Harlem Shuffle by now, right? 6mo
See All 11 Comments
squirrelbrain I see the #camplitsy longlist influence in there! 6mo
Cinfhen Yup , I saw! I‘ve already placed one order getting ready to place another 😉 6mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen I knew you‘d be on it!! 😘😘 I‘ll write you back soon. My aunt and uncle just left. I hope n and a arrive safely!! 6mo
Megabooks @squirrelbrain 💯💯💯 it‘s a great list! 6mo
Megabooks @JamieArc I did get HS. Did it not have a dust jacket? I‘m excited for the Shipstead as well, but don‘t know when I‘ll get to it either! Fantastic cover! 6mo
Megabooks @JenReadsAlot yay!! 🥳🥳 6mo
JamieArc @Megabooks Whoops - I meant to send a note saying that it did not have its dust jacket when I received it. 6mo
Megabooks @JamieArc 👍🏻👍🏻 just wondering! 6mo
79 likes11 comments
review
AmandaBlaze
post image
Pickpick

This was a soft pick for me. It was well-written, but I didn't connect with the characters. I admit some chapters bored me, so I skipped through them. Other chapters were truly riveting. I'd give this 3-1\u002 stars.

review
Viji
post image
Pickpick

A boy abandoned by his parents ends up in foster care and goes on to become a murderer. The story goes back and forth in time and through the voices of Ansel, his mother, his wife‘s sister and a homicide detective, and we see how one person‘s life can affect so many others.

Megabooks Great review! 6mo
66 likes5 stack adds1 comment
blurb
TrishB
post image

#kindledailydeal
Good one today 😁

squirrelbrain Ooh good! Off to buy it now… 😁 6mo
Cathythoughts @squirrelbrain I just got it, off on a few days hols and this should be a nice change, serial killer ! 6mo
squirrelbrain Oh yes @Cathythoughts -serial killers are perfect for holidays! 🤣 Have a lovely time! 6mo
TrishB @squirrelbrain but of course they are 😁 have fun Cathy! 6mo
68 likes4 comments
blurb
Cazxxx
post image

Been wanting this one for ages!

perfectsinner I enjoyed it quite well 6mo
29 likes1 comment
blurb
AmandaBlaze
post image
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I‘ve been wanting to read this one!! 6mo
AmandaBlaze I haven‘t read it yet, but it‘s on my June #BookSpinBingo. Looking forward to it. 6mo
Eggs Great choice 🤩 6mo
21 likes3 comments
blurb
LoverOfLearning
post image

Just ordered this from my local library.

I know I will devour this. I have my masters in Forensic Psychology and I am fascinated by any topics surrounding the psyche of a criminal, of their background, of the death penalty, and of media surrounding true crime.

This is a fictional story of a man evaluting his life with 12 hours to live and a story of 3 women's experiences watching him grow up and chance.

I predict a 5 star read.

perfectsinner I liked it pretty well. I think I gave it 4 stars 6mo
MysticFaerie I was also taking criminology/psychology before I got sick... (a long time ago). I'm looking forward to reading this book, as well. I am waiting for my copy to come in from the library. Can't wait! 6mo
43 likes2 comments
review
CaitlinR
post image
Pickpick

You know that feeling you get when you finish a good book: that your view of the world has changed? Ms Kukafka drags us into the tragedy of Ansel Packer‘s life, his crimes, and his upcoming execution. Along the journey we meet the people that created and warped his soul, and those he savaged. It‘s a train wreck, but beautifully written and is so painful. Mis-classed by my Library as a thriller, don‘t be fooled … this is a wonderful novel.

22 likes2 stack adds
review
AvidReaderandGeekGirl
Mehso-so

3.5 stars

I REALLY liked the message, but it could have been done better. Way to much flower-y language. I also wish the audio had multiple narrators.

review
Mitch
post image
Pickpick

Lives devastated by the horrific actions of a serial killer are portrayed here with empathy & sensitivity. However the book claims to reverse the trends of crime fascinated readers focusing on the serial killer, yet the whole arch of this book, the narrative structure & the segments of the women lives are dictated by the actions, behaviours & timing needed of the serial killer. So whilst a good read, it wasn't as victim focused as I was hoping.

Oryx Totally agree with your review. While I really liked this one, it didn't live up to the claim of taking the women's perspective, as a big chunk was from his view. 7mo
CBee Reading the reviews and blurb, I‘m intrigued 🤔 7mo
82 likes2 stack adds2 comments
blurb
Mitch
post image

Up next - after my last read which was far too up in the clouds - need a grounding read with a timeline and story I can understand! 🤣

ClairesReads I loved this when it read it recently! Hope it works for you too 😊 7mo
74 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
ClairesReads
post image
Pickpick

Notes on an Execution was pretty close to a perfect reading experience for me. It‘s a chilling, starkly constructed, victim-centred crime novel that balances the procedural and psychological expertly. The blurb suggests that Kukafka asks us to “consider the false promise of looking for meaning in the minds of violent men” and I think this is the best description of what is done so well in this novel. LOVED IT.

swishandflick Great review! Couldn't agree more. 7mo
ClairesReads @swishandflick it exceeded my very high expectations- what a great read. Glad it worked for you too 7mo
Oryx Great review 7mo
38 likes2 stack adds3 comments
review
Hooked_on_books
post image
Pickpick

When I heard the description of this, it made me want to skip it, but I‘m glad I didn‘t. While it tells the story of a man who is a serial killer, that plot is simply used as a frame to study several female characters in his orbit, and the story is really theirs. I really enjoyed meeting these women and will be looking for other reads from Kukafka.

kbibliophilific Ditto!!! 7mo
Chelsea.Poole I agree, this was a good read. 7mo
49 likes2 comments
review
swishandflick
post image
Pickpick

I absolutely inhaled this book and was completely riveted from the first page to the last. 4.5⭐️

kbibliophilific Great read! 7mo
Cathythoughts Sounds good. I see I have it stacked already 👍🏻 (edited) 7mo
90 likes4 stack adds2 comments
review
Bakingbookworm
post image
Mehso-so

3 STARS - This falls into the 'it's not a good fit for me' kind of book. I can see why other people enjoy it but it was too Literary Fiction and not enough Thriller for me.

Review: https://bit.ly/NotesOnAnExecutionReview

blurb
perfectsinner
post image

I saw this @ my bookstore recently and almost bought it, but then I remembered I had a hold on it from Libby. I bought The Lincoln Highway instead. My loan just came in 🙂

review
FelinesAndFelonies
post image
Pickpick

Wow! This is the best book that I have read in a long time. It's beautiful & tragic. It tells the story of a serial killer, Ansel. Unlike most novels, it is told through not only Ansel's perspective but also 3 of the women with whom his life has intersected. His mother, Lavender, Hazel, his sister-in-law, & Saffy, the investigator who brings his murderous spree to an end. This novel is brilliant & I will be thinking of it for a long time. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

ShelleyBooksie Stacked. This sounds good 9mo
Cathythoughts Sounds good ! Stacked 9mo
FelinesAndFelonies @ShelleyBooksie & @Cathythoughts I will be so excited to see what you think. I think it's a great book to stimulate discussions about several topics. 9mo
69 likes5 stack adds3 comments
blurb
AFridayFriend
post image

I am hoping this one‘s good because I fell off the wagon— I requested this from the library four weeks ago and no sane person can wait four weeks when they really want to read something 🤷‍♀️
I will let you know how it is.

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks How was it? 8mo
5 likes1 comment
blurb
kbibliophilific
post image

This book was purchased from an adorable book bus… excited to read! 😊

quietjenn Oh, I follow the Book Bus on Instagram and have done a mail order with them, but so cool you actually got to visit it! 9mo
kbibliophilific @quietjenn Cincy book bus?? They‘re awesome !!!! 9mo
61 likes2 comments
review
Well-ReadNeck
post image
Pickpick

Enjoyed this unusual serial killer thriller. The story begins with the killer on death row and unravels his story through flashbacks from the points of view of three women in his life: his mother, his sister-in-law; and the detective who caught him.

69 likes2 stack adds
review
Bookboss
post image
Pickpick

Ansel Packer is on death row. The novel is told from his perspective of his final hours and from the past perspectives of the important women in his life. This is not a fast-paced thriller about a serial killer. This is a story that explores the cycle of abuse and violence, personal responsibility and institutional responsibility. The characters are well developed, believable, and heartbreaking.

review
Chelsea.Poole
post image
Pickpick

A dark novel about Ansel Packer‘s life (past and present) who is awaiting his execution in prison. Told by 3 women connected to him during different phases of his life, his mother, his sister-in-law and the detective on his case, and also from his own perspective. I loved this, though it is a tough and tragic read.

98 likes3 stack adds
review
Oryx
post image
Pickpick

I found this one really engrossing. It's the story of a serial murderer on death row, mostly from the perspective of three women - his mother, his wife's sister, and a detective. From the blurb, I thought it was only going to be the female perspective, but he does tell his story too. Loved the writing, and the story and setting just drew me right in.

jhod Interesting! 9mo
squirrelbrain Funny - just saw a review of this today and thought it sounded fab - stacked! 9mo
Oryx @squirrelbrain I think you might like this one 9mo
74 likes5 stack adds3 comments
review
jlhammar
post image
Pickpick

It is kind of uncomfortable to empathize with a serial killer, but Kukafka compels you to do just that. You also get the perspectives of some of the women in his life starting with his mother, Lavender. I could have done without the flowery language and graphic sexual scenes, but overall still a pick. Leaves you thinking about the lasting impact of trauma and how women are used and abused in our society.

37 likes1 comment
blurb
angel1
post image

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
Gripping, haunting and an emotional read! I loved the writing style and how the story was told in each chapter...fantastic book!

blurb
Oryx
post image

Excited to start this one. The blurb sounds so promising.

TrishB This looks good - will await your review 👍🏻 10mo
jlhammar That cover is so different from my U.S. cover! I‘m hoping to start this one next week. 10mo
64 likes1 stack add2 comments
blurb
jlhammar
post image

#bookmail Hope to start The Appeal soon!