Notes on an Execution

by Danya Kukafka | Mystery & Thrillers |
ISBN: 006323629X Global Overview for this book
Registered by gypsysmom of Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on 3/12/2022
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by gypsysmom from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Saturday, March 12, 2022
This book was chosen by a member of our online book club for our next read.

Journal Entry 2 by gypsysmom at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Friday, April 1, 2022
There have been no executions in Canada since 1962 although it took until 1999 for the death penalty to be formally abolished. I can remember debating the question of capital punishment in school in the 1960s and I was firmly on the side of abolishing it. It has always seemed wrong to me for the state to kill someone to punish them for doing the same thing. So it was with that mindset that I read this book.

Ansel Packer is sentenced to be executed for murdering his ex-wife. However, that was not the only murder he committed. Years previously he killed three young women one summer and hid their bodies in woods near where he was living. He was only a teenager himself. As the hours tick down to the time of his execution we learn Ansel's history which includes being abandoned by his parents at a young age and growing up in foster homes. When his parents left him he was in charge of his infant brother and throughout his life the screams of his brother haunt his dreams and thoughts. His wife was able to soothe him most of the time but after she left him he returned to his awful memories of his brother. Ansel developed a personal philosophy that for every choice a person makes there is an alternative world where the opposite choice was made. He has been writing a book espousing this philosophy which he hopes will be published. There is no doubt that Ansel is a psychopath. He never expressed remorse for the murders. He might argue that it was his childhood that caused him to commit those crimes but there is one scene from his early childhood when his mother was still looking after him that makes me doubt that. Whatever is the causative force for psychopathy I think Ansel would have turned out that way regardless of his upbringing. The other main character in the book is a police detective, Saffron Singh, who was in the same foster home as Ansel. She experienced his cruelty first hand while there and long believed he was responsible for the deaths of the three young women. While she works on many other cases and rises through the ranks she keeps an eye on Ansel. In a way she believes she was responsible for Ansel killing his ex-wife.

This was quite a compelling read for me. Ansel and Saffron are both interesting characters and some of the minor characters, particularly Ansel's mother, were also well-developed. I'm still opposed to capital punishment; I wouldn't want Ansel free to roam the streets but I can't justify the state committing murder.

Released 4 mos ago (5/30/2023 UTC) at Friends of the Winnipeg Public Library Book Sale in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada


I am donating this book to the Friends of the Winnipeg Public Library for their fall Big Book Sale.

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