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The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Pötzsch and Lee Chadeayne

February 23

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
Publisher: AmazonCrossing (December 7, 2010), Format: Kindle Edition, File Size: 646 KB, Print Length: 448 pages, Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Language: English, ASIN: B003P9XMFI

This an amazing story that takes place in the mid-1600s in the Bavarian town of Schongau and centres on the executioner Jakob Kuisl.  During this story children are being murdered and the town council wants to execute the midwife as a witch for committing these crimes.  However, Jakob knows she is innocent and sets out to find out who the true culprits are, despite the obstacles that he must face.

The Hangman’s Daughter was written by a descendant of the Kuisl family and the book is a historical fiction.  It is also falls into the suspense genre since we know that a crime was committed, but not by whom until the end of the book.  It is told in the third person narrative from the various characters within the story.  The main protagonists are Jakob Kuisl, the hangman, his gorgeous daughter Magdelena Kuisl and Simon, the physician’s son.

Jakob, with the help of his daughter and the young handsome doctor, tries to uncover the mystery of who is murdering the children. However, he is on a time crunch and must do this before the government official arrives in town for the trial.  He has great pressure put on him by the town’s council to force a conviction from the midwife through the use of torture. The executioner and his family are shunned by the townsfolk which makes the task even more difficult.

The story is exciting and there is a fair bit of action in it.  There are numerous interesting characters including the “devil”, an evil man with a bone hand. The historical references to the witch hunting done in the previous years were gruesome and unsettling, yet also thought-provoking. The story progressed with good pacing and the climax at the end was full of surprises. The author did a good of first putting out many different tenticles and then weaving them all together for a satisfying story.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction, the depiction of  Germany in the mid 1600s is fascinating. Also, if you enjoy reading a good suspense, you will enjoy this book.

 

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