A Place of Execution: Juliet Stevenson interview — from itv. How do families and parents of loved ones cope without the lack of closure? Also the McCanns — all parents have been identifying very strongly with that case. So our story is very current.
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Shelves: women-of-mystery 3. In the first section, set in the early s, a teenage girl disappears from a small English village and the police investigate. In the second section, set in , a reporter writes a book about the mid-century incident.
In , the tiny hamlet of Scardale in Derbyshire resembles a feudal town. There are only a 3. There are only a handful of surnames in Scardale, where everyone is related by blood and marriage. Hawkin pursues and marries an attractive local widow, Ruth Carter, who has a pretty teenage daughter named Alison. One day, just before Christmas, year-old Alison comes home from school, takes her sheepdog Shep out for a walk, and disappears.
Newly promoted Detective Inspector George Bennett is put in charge of the search for Alison, which he orchestrates with the help of the local constable, surrounding police forces, and a slew of volunteers.
Before long the searchers find Shep tied up in the woods and come across an isolated, disturbed area that shows evidence of a struggle. Bennett surmises that Alison has been abducted - almost certainly by someone familiar with the area. As a result Bennett becomes a driven man: he gathers evidence; questions persons of interest; consults with other cops; develops theories; and so on. Bennett can hardly find a moment to go home, relax, and see his wife. Eventually, a suggestion by the community octogenarian, Ma Lomas - who looks exactly like a fairy tale hag - leads the cops to a forgotten, long-abandoned mine.
Bennett makes it his mission to find the killer, and continues to pursue the case. After some months, startling new evidence is found - which leads to an arrest and trial.
Afterwards, Bennett gets on with his life, refusing to speak with reporters and writers who want to relate their accounts of the case. Thirty-five years later, Bennett is retired and living with his wife Anne, who suffers from arthritis. Their grown son, Paul, works in the international realm and is engaged to be married.
Paul convinces his father to be interviewed, and Heathcote goes to work. Heathcote conducts a series of extensive interviews with Bennett, who takes her through the case step by step. Over many months, Heathcote finishes her research and writes the book. He insists that Heathcote withdraw the book from publication, but offers no specific reasons. Bennett even offers to repay the entire advance himself. A basic menu of physical characteristics is scattered among the residents, who have little ambition beyond working their land and taking care of their animals.
And I liked DI Clough, whose rough exterior masks a caring soul. I also found Catherine Heathcote to be bright and likable Smoking in public places was more acceptable in the s, but this still seems overdone. All in all, an enjoyable mystery. Recommended to fans of the genre.
A Place of Execution