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The Executioner Weeps an exemplary psychological thriller

The Executioner Weeps

Frédéric Dard, David Coward

Pushkin Vertigo/Random House

Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date: April 4, 2017


I know of no author whose novels epitomize the psychological thrillers popularized by Alfred Hitchcock more than Frederic Dard. Each time I pick up one of his books I know to expect the unexpected. He has a way of capturing the human psyche and taking advantage of its weaknesses allowing emotion and circumstance to trap individuals into becoming something or someone other than they were at the start. The Executioner Weeps does just that and more posing the difficult question of whether memory is necessary for guilt.

Daniel is a successful painter whose life is transformed when his car collides with a beautiful young woman. Her injuries are minimal but her memory is nonexistent. She retains her knowledge of the world, but not of her own identity or history. They fall in love, but having no identity, no papers is a problem. Naturally Daniel seeks to learn who she is, despite her admonitions that she does not wish to know her past. The truth is gut-wrenching, but how far will Daniel go to protect her from it? Is she really the woman he fell in love with?

Dard masterfully manipulates both Daniel and the reader. You can’t say that you enjoy this type of novel. Is it powerful? Yes. Does it strongly affect the reader? Yes. Is it well written? Yes. Is it unforgettable? Absolutely. The emotional impact on the reader lasts long after the final page is read.


I received a copy of The Executioner Weeps from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.



On a quiet mountain road near Barcelona, a woman steps out in front of a car. When the driver, a well-known artist, stops to some to her aid, he finds she is alive, but without any memory of who she is or where she has come from. As he tries to help her remember her past, the artist finds himself falling in love, but as secrets from the woman’s forgotten life start to come to light, he finds his new romance turning into a nightmare…

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