A tiger mauls his handler out of affection. A woman prepares Thanksgiving dinner with her husband sprawled dead on the floor. A man, the executioner of the title, seeks to assure his new wife that he’s not a bad person. The characters in Rajesh Parameswaran’s stories navigate the uncertain ground between love and death, where passion and violence meet and meld. A daring debut told in the author’s charged, poetic style.