The Hangman's Daughter

The Hangman's Daughter

Book - 2011
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Germany, 1659: When a dying boy is pulled from the river with a mark crudely tattooed on his shoulder, hangman Jakob Kuisl is called upon to investigate whether witchcraft is at play in his small Bavarian town. Whispers and dark memories of witch trials and the women burned at stake just seventy years earlier still haunt the streets of Schongau. When more children disappear and an orphan boy is found dead, marked by the same tattoo, the mounting hysteria threatens to erupt into chaos. Before the unrest forces him to torture and execute the very woman who aided in the birth of his children, Jakob must unravel the truth. With the help of his clever daughter, Magdelena, and Simon, the university-educated son of the town's physician, Jakob discovers that a devil is indeed loose in Schongau. But it may be too late to prevent bloodshed.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011, c2010
Edition: 1st Mariner Books ed
ISBN: 9780547745015
Characteristics: 435 p. : map ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Chadeayne, Lee - Translator


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Sep 11, 2018

This book is one of those treasures you can find among the historical fiction that is a great mix of history, and fiction creating a story that comes alive off the pages as you read. The characters are so engaging with a blend of their personal thinking which grants you access to them as a person. The history is rich. But asides from the story you are given a glimpse into a phenomena that even finds it's way into our every day life; the uneducated public and the desire for the easy way out can lead to bigger ramifications infecting everyone...

Kusil is a well rounded character with a past, hopes, and aims for the future. As the towns "Hangman" he is regulated to the outskirts of the town and although people publicly ostracize him a great number of them turn to him for their medical needs. Is a kind of closeted respect. Simon is a decent young man still trying to find his belonging place in town while trying to modernize medicine instead of relying on the "humours" of medicine. Magdelena is a head strong young woman who despite society's aims she is well educated and courageous. Through their interactions together you learn more about each of them as they navigate a complex case of misinformation, an old man's greed, and a town with a past of hunting witches.

Will a midwife accused go free? Will town hysteria lead to another witch hunt? Will the suspect you suspect be the actual mastermind? Read to find out. For me reading into the early hours of the morning were well spent.

Jun 17, 2018

I enjoyed reading this book and will certainly read more in this series. Overall, the book is a quick read and the plot moved along at a nice pace. Before reading this book, I knew nothing about Bavaria in 1659. The author does a nice job of describing village life at that time, all of which is based on facts. They mystery itself kept me intrigued until the end. It was simple enough to follow but not easy enough to figure out on my own.

Unlike other reviewers, I did not think the book was too grisly - you can find much more gore on popular television shows these days. I would agree that there are a few points where the translator repeats the same phrases but it was not enough to bother me much.

I'd give "The Hangman's Daughter" a solid 4/5.

Jan 10, 2018

I found the whole series to be extremely interesting and well written. It truly gives a first-hand picture of how life was like back then. I hope he keeps the series going for I will be there to devour them quickly.

Aug 30, 2017

This whole series was way, way too much for me. Maybe things were that horrible back then, but that does not mean I want to read about it! "Grisly" does not begin to describe it. I have to laugh when other reviewers describe this as "not for the faint of heart." I got about 30 pages into the first one and was so revolted I stopped reading. So, I tried dipping into some of the others. Same thing. I would not describe myself as "faint of heart." I would, and do, describe these novels as "Over The Top." Reader beware!

Sep 17, 2016

Enjoyed it a lot, reminded me of the Brother Cadfael series by Ellis Peters. Looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

Aug 29, 2016

Excellent translation, the story flowed beautifully. Yes, grisly, but that is what life was like back then. This story made me appreciate how much better life is now and how we all have to work at maintaining our humanity towards each other. (yes, it is just a story, but one that made me think!)

Aug 24, 2014

Grisly but compelling and well-plotted.

Jan 27, 2014

This is a really interesting book. Amazon had sent it to me on one of their daily deals so I figured I'd give it a shot. It is set in 1659 Germany during the Witch Scare. It's about a hangman who is trying to solve a murder with the help of his daughter and a doctor who is inlove with the daughter. Doctors and Hangmen did not mix since they are from opposite sides of the medical field, herbs vs. medicine. It is really interesting the different views from which this story is told. I was addicted too the book and has alot of trouble putting it down, which made it very difficult to do homework and study for the upcoming exams. I sugguest it to anyone who enjoys fictional history and a good mystery. Happy Reading!

PS Not sure why it is called "The Hangman's Daughter".

May 16, 2013

I loved this book! The description makes it sound way more romantic, it reminded a little of the Wicked series actually ...

Apr 08, 2013

Surprisingly good. I had lower expectations based on other reviews that I had read, but I like a good mystery. I should know better than to judge a work based on another person's opinion. I really enjoyed reading this story and I was captivated by the characters, especially The Hangman. The novel is well-written and the historical backdrop is nicely laid out without being too much of a textbook lecture. Be warned. This book is not for the faint of heart. It does discuss in somewhat graphic detail the modes of torture ("interrogation") and execution that would make your toes curl. That said, I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

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