A Place of Execution by Val McDermid
Plot Summary : In 1963 13 year old Alison Carter goes missing from her remote Derbyshire village while taking her dog for a walk. At the same time children are going missing in the Manchester area. Are the cases related?
For newly promoted DI George Bennett this first investigation he leads becomes the one that most haunts him, not least because he becomes an expectant father at the beginning of the case.
Despite the caginess of the villagers and their apparent unwillingness to cooperate an arrest is made and a man is hung for the crime.
Cut to 1998 and Catherine Heathcote is making her own investigations into the story. And what she turns up is most unexpected . . .
Comments : Val McDermid is a master storyteller and this is a gipping read. Although I ‘twigged’ to some of the revelations a page or so before the unveiling that does not diminish the overall enjoyment of this suspense story.
George Bennett and his off-sider, Tommy Clough are well-drawn characters who are portrayed as we’d like to imagine policemen really are – hardworking, committed and intelligent. While some of the villagers, Alison’s crone of a grandmother for one, are a little stereotypical, most of the characters are believable and the premise of the story is largely believable.
A most enjoyable read.