Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I was given the chance to review The Hangman’s Daughter and the sequel, The Dark Monk by, Oliver Potzsch and translated by Lee Chadeayne.  The Hangman’s Daughter is what I would classify as a historical mystery novel.  It takes place in the era of the witch trials in Bavaria.  Jakob Kuisl is the town’s hangman.  Although he is highly needed for his work in the town, he is not well respected as a citizen of Schongau because everyone thinks that it is a curse to acknowledge him or his family.  He is not even allowed to live inside the city walls and hangmen’s children are not allowed to marry in the town.  Jakob on the side is also asked for his knowledge with healing remedies and is often sought out to help cure ailments.  Because of this the physician’s son Simon Fronwieser is enamored by the books and knowledge that Jakob has acquired and frequents his house to look through the books and gain more knowledge; and it doesn’t hurt that Magdalena, the hangman’s daughter is there also.  Simon’s father is the town’s physician and he himself has gone to the university to study as well.  He isn’t fond of his father’s old tactics of healing with bleeding patients and likes that Jakob’s knowledge of the human body goes deeper then the common practices.  After several children are found missing or dead the town quickly comes to the conclusion that a witch is among them and is even quicker to point a finger at the individual they think did it.  After the “witch” is locked up Jakob and Simon seek to find the true culprit of the crime.

This is a book that I didn’t want to put down.  It was beautifully written and translated into English.  I love historical fiction and this book added just a bit more and kept you guessing the whole time as to who had done it.  It was full of action, mystery, and history and I absolutely LOVED it.  I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves mystery, history, or both.

I have been able to start the beginning of The Dark Monk but have been unable to finish it with the limited time that I have to read.  I know that I am going to pick up my e-reader every chance that I get though and read the sequel.  I can’t wait to see who did the crime in this book and to further the story of Simon, Jakob, and Magdalena.

Thank you to BzzAgent for allowing me to review these books for free in exchange for an honest review.

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