Close cookie details

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav
Notes on an Execution
Cover of Notes on an Execution
Notes on an Execution
A Novel

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

"Defiantly populated with living women . . . beautifully drawn, dense with detail and specificity . . . Notes on an Execution is nuanced, ambitious and compelling." —Katie Kitamura, NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW (Editors' Choice)

"A searing portrait of the complicated women caught in the orbit of a serial killer. . . . Compassionate and thought-provoking." –BRIT BENNETT, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Half

Recommended by New York Times Book Review

  • Los Angeles Times
  • Washington Post
  • Entertainment Weekly
  • Esquire
  • Good Housekeeping
  • USA Today
  • Buzzfeed
  • Goodreads
  • Real Simple
  • Marie Claire
  • Rolling Stone
  • Business Insider
  • Bustle
  • PopSugar
  • The Millions
  • The Guardian
  • and many more!

    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 life—from the bestselling author of Girl in Snow.

    Ansel Packer is scheduled to die in twelve hours. He knows what he's done, and now awaits execution, the same chilling fate he forced on those girls, years ago. But Ansel doesn't want to die; he wants to be celebrated, understood.

    Through a kaleidoscope of women—a mother, a sister, a homicide detective—we learn the story of Ansel's life. We meet his mother, Lavender, a seventeen-year-old girl pushed to desperation; Hazel, twin sister to Ansel's wife, inseparable since birth, forced to watch helplessly as her sister's relationship threatens to devour them all; and finally, Saffy, the 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.

    "Poetic and mesmerizing . . . Powerful, important, intensely human, and filled with a unique examination of tragedy, one where the reader is left with a curious emotion: hope." —USA TODAY

    "A profound and staggering experience of empathy that challenges us to confront what it means to be human in our darkest moments. . . . I relished every page of this brilliant and gripping masterpiece."—ASHLEY AUDRAIN, New York Times bestselling author of The Push

  • NATIONAL BESTSELLER

    "Defiantly populated with living women . . . beautifully drawn, dense with detail and specificity . . . Notes on an Execution is nuanced, ambitious and compelling." —Katie Kitamura, NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW (Editors' Choice)

    "A searing portrait of the complicated women caught in the orbit of a serial killer. . . . Compassionate and thought-provoking." –BRIT BENNETT, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Half

    Recommended by New York Times Book Review

  • Los Angeles Times
  • Washington Post
  • Entertainment Weekly
  • Esquire
  • Good Housekeeping
  • USA Today
  • Buzzfeed
  • Goodreads
  • Real Simple
  • Marie Claire
  • Rolling Stone
  • Business Insider
  • Bustle
  • PopSugar
  • The Millions
  • The Guardian
  • and many more!

    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 life—from the bestselling author of Girl in Snow.

    Ansel Packer is scheduled to die in twelve hours. He knows what he's done, and now awaits execution, the same chilling fate he forced on those girls, years ago. But Ansel doesn't want to die; he wants to be celebrated, understood.

    Through a kaleidoscope of women—a mother, a sister, a homicide detective—we learn the story of Ansel's life. We meet his mother, Lavender, a seventeen-year-old girl pushed to desperation; Hazel, twin sister to Ansel's wife, inseparable since birth, forced to watch helplessly as her sister's relationship threatens to devour them all; and finally, Saffy, the 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.

    "Poetic and mesmerizing . . . Powerful, important, intensely human, and filled with a unique examination of tragedy, one where the reader is left with a curious emotion: hope." —USA TODAY

    "A profound and staggering experience of empathy that challenges us to confront what it means to be human in our darkest moments. . . . I relished every page of this brilliant and gripping masterpiece."—ASHLEY AUDRAIN, New York Times bestselling author of The Push

  • Available formats-
    • OverDrive Listen
    • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
    Languages:-
    Copies-
    • Available:
      0
    • Library copies:
      1
    Levels-
    • ATOS:
    • Lexile:
    • Interest Level:
    • Text Difficulty:

    Recommended for you

    About the Author-
    • Danya Kukafka is the internationally bestselling author of Girl in Snow. She is a graduate of New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She works as a literary agent.

    Reviews-
    • Publisher's Weekly

      Starred review from November 29, 2021
      This masterly thriller from Kukafka (Girl in Snow) opens on death row in a Texas prison, where Ansel Packer is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection in 12 hours. However, Packer, who’s killed multiple women across the country, including in Texas and New York, isn’t worried. That surprising attitude is accounted for by the early revelation that he befriended one of the prison guards and is plotting a last-minute escape. Flashbacks, starting with Packer’s birth to a 17-year-old mother in 1973, trace his path from childhood to what seem to be his final hours. He grew up with an abusive father and began killing and mutilating animals when he was three. Those sections alternate with passages from the points of view of his mother, who was also abused, and of a New York State police investigator devoted to getting justice for Packer’s victims. Kukafka skillfully uses the second-person present tense to heighten the drama, and toward the end she makes devastatingly clear the toll taken by Packer’s killings. Megan Abbott fans will be pleased. Agent: Dana Murphy, Book Group.

    • Library Journal

      Starred review from March 1, 2022

      After seven years on death row, serial killer Ansel Packer has mere hours to live. He has a plan, a theory, and a rock-solid certainty that his life won't end as simply as those girls'. Shifting perspectives among the man condemned by his choices and the stories of four women linked, through him, to each other, this audiobook is perfect for fans of psychological suspense and complex female characters. Jim Meskiman's nonchalance and gravelly conviction put listeners directly into contact with the banality of evil in Ansel's chapters. Mozhan Marno (who voices Lavender, who made the mother of all choices to save her own life; Saffron, a fellow foster child with a long memory and hunter's instincts; Hazel, raised in her twin sister's shadow; and Blue, young and hopeful of finding family) crafts a distinct tone for each woman, reflecting generational and class differences but imbuing all with the sympathetic capacity that Ansel notably lacks. With commentary on the institutions of American justice, this is a thoughtful exploration of crime and punishment. VERDICT The dual narrators perfectly contrast Ansel's suffocating solipsism with the tragically interwoven lives of the women who survive him. Recommended most highly.--Lauren Kage

      Copyright 2022 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

    Title Information+
    • Publisher
      HarperAudio
    • OverDrive Listen
      Release date:
    • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
      Release date:
    Digital Rights Information+
    • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
      Burn to CD: 
      Permitted
      Transfer to device: 
      Permitted
      Transfer to Apple® device: 
      Permitted
      Public performance: 
      Not permitted
      File-sharing: 
      Not permitted
      Peer-to-peer usage: 
      Not permitted
      All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

    Status bar:

    You've reached your checkout limit.

    Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

    Close

    You already have this title checked out.

    Want to go to your Checkouts?

    Close

    Recommendation Limit Reached.

    You've reached the maximum number of titles you can recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 99 titles every 1 day(s).

    Close

    Sign in to recommend this title.

    Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

    Close

    Enhanced Details

    Close
    Close

    Limited availability

    Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

    is available for days.

    Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

    Close

    Permissions

    Close

    The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

    Close

    Holds

    Total holds:


    Close

    Restricted

    Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

    Close

    MP3 audiobooks are only supported on macOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) through 10.14 (Mojave). Learn more about MP3 audiobook support on Macs.

    Close

    Please update to the latest version of the OverDrive app to stream videos.

    Close

    Device Compatibility Notice

    The OverDrive app is required for this format on your current device.

    Close

    Bahrain, Egypt, Hong Kong, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen

    Close

    You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

    To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

    Close

    Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

    There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

    Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

    Close

    You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

    Close

    This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

    Close

    An unexpected error has occurred.

    If this problem persists, please contact support.

    Close

    Close

    NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

    Close
    Buy it now
    and help our library WIN!
    Notes on an Execution
    Notes on an Execution
    A Novel
    Danya Kukafka
    Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
    A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
    Close
    Close

    There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

    Close
    Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

    You will be prompted to sign into your library account on the next page.

    If this is your first time selecting “Send to NOOK,” you will then be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

    The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

    You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

    Accept to ContinueCancel