A Date With The Hangman – REVIEW

A Litercurious Book Review

A Date With The Hangman By Gary Dobbs
A Date with The Hangman by Gary Dobbs
Title A Date With The Hangman
Author Gary M. Dobbs
Publisher Pen & Sword Ltd. (February 19, 2020)
Format Hardcover
Pages 152
Language English
ISBN # 152674743X (ISBN-13: 978-1526747433)

The Author

Gary Martin Dobbs may not be familiar to you; however, Gary has a long track record of writing books, starting when he was just 15 years old. Mr. Dobbs also writes under the pen name of Jack Martin; perhaps some of you have read his western novels and crime fictions. If you enjoy the Western Genre, you can find more on his work at The Fantastic Fiction site. A couple of his notable crime fiction novels include: Granny Smith, and Deadly Frogs. He also has an online blog where you can find out more about the author and see some of the book reviews he’s written. Not only is he an accomplished author, but he is an actor as well; more information can be found on IMDB (International Movie Database). He comes across as a very personable and engaging character which makes reading A Date With The Hangman more like a talk with a friend, rather than a cold retelling of horror. I enjoyed how concisely Gary recounted ancient traditions, methods of executions, and the slow integration of newer technologies for killing. I consider myself well-read when it comes to the subject of true crime; but I still learned new details, facts, and other information from A Date With The Hangman that were overlooked in similar books.

The Target Audience

You will enjoy this book if you’re interested in: true crime, history, non-fiction, or if you are an avid consumer of literature that has: macabre themes, strong adult content, detailed descriptions of death, murder, and Judicial executions. Whilst the subject matter is gritty, the author Gary Dobbs manages to engage the readers interest immediately. A Date With The Hangman is one of those books you will quickly know if it appeals to you, and if it does you are in for an engrossing sojourn.

My Synopsis

A Date With The Hangman could be considered a primer for anyone who wants to understand the context, methods, and atmosphere of historic Judicial executions. The book begins by introducing the contextual factors upon which to build an understanding of ancient crime and punishment. The central theme of the book is the nature, methods, reputations, and the personal history of some of England’s most notorious hangmen. The descriptions of some of the executions are so detailed that you can imagine standing there and witnessing the event yourself.

Once the vivid descriptions of the executions are complete, we are provided with a plethora of small paragraphs detailing briefly the date of execution, name and age of the offender, the name and age of the victim (if available), their conviction, where the execution took place, and their executioner. Portions of the book are referenced to a tedious degree yet leaves no doubt as to the authenticity of the material used. Toward the end of the book, I was very pleased to see that Gary had included the intensity to which the ethics of execution became a political hot potato. He describes the years leading up to the termination of Capital Punishment in the late 20th Century, as society became disillusioned with the execution of people that were later found to be innocent.


This book is well written, with good prose, and produced in an uncomplicated but concise manner from an author who researched his subject. The subject matter is gripping, sometimes terrifying, but most of all educating.


Gary Dobbs will soon be releasing another in the long line of books called: The Reluctant Terrorist, part of the successful Granny Smith Series. Available at the time of writing on KindleUnlimited – Read for free.

Why not pre-order yours and get to the front of the line. Pen & Sword Ltd., are offering a special price for: A Date With The Hangman, ending soon.



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