A guide to the Ultimate Penalty

  • Imprint: Summersdale
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • Price: £9.99
  • Publication date: 5 September 2012
  • ISBN: 9781849532556

About the book

Execution is a gruesomely fascinating account of methods of judicial execution from around the world and through the ages, and includes such hair-raising categories as death by cannibalism, being sewn into an animal’s belly and a thousand cuts. In his own darkly humorous style, Geoffrey Abbott describes the instruments used and their effectiveness, and reveals the macabre origins of familiar phrases such as ‘gone west’ or ‘drawn a blank’, as well as the jargon of the underworld.

From the preparation of the victim to the disposal of the body, Execution answers all the questions you are ever likely to ask, and some you would never want to imagine.

About the author

Geoffrey Abbott served in the RAF for 35 years before becoming a ‘Beefeater’ at the Tower of London. He wrote more than 24 books on torture and execution, appeared in numerous TV documentaries as consultant or executioner and, by invitation, wrote entries on torture and execution for the Encyclopedia Britannica. He once stood on the ‘drop’ trapdoors in the execution chamber of Barlinnie Prison, Glasgow (as a fact-finding author, not a convicted criminal!) and also experienced having a noose placed around his neck by a professional hangman – the late Sydney Dernley, a man endowed with a great, if macabre, sense of humour! 


'A valuable and first-class book.'

John J. Eddleston, author of The Encyclopaedia of Executions

'This is quite extraordinary… A gory little book that I am sure will fascinate many. Dip in and you become hooked. Great impulse buy.'

The Bookseller

'Bloodthirsty book's perfectly executed.'

The Weekly News