x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Book review: The Execution of Noa P Singleton a gripping debut novel

In Elizabeth L Silver's The Execution of Noa P Singleton, the mother of a murder victim tries to help her condemned killer.

The Execution of Noa P Singleton
Elizabeth L Silver
Crown

A book about a woman on death row waiting to die sounds depressing as well as dull, but The Execution of Noa P Singleton is neither.

In fact, it's advisable to not make any plans for at least a couple of days if one commences reading this gripping first novel by Elizabeth L Silver.

The suspense builds gently as we learn that the 25-year-old Singleton did nothing to help with her defence during the trial that resulted in her conviction for the murder of a university classmate.

After nearly a decade in prison, with her execution date nearing, the victim's mother, a wealthy high-powered attorney in a Philadelphia law firm, decides to mount an attempt to help Singleton avoid the death penalty. But are her out-of-the-blue actions truly altruistic?

Written with confident restraint from the point of view of the imprisoned killer, The Execution of Noa P Singleton never wavers as the story inexorably unfolds. But whether the elusive truth sets anyone free is quite another matter.

mangeles@thenational.ae