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The Hangman's Daughter

de Oliver Pötzsch

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Sèrie: The Hangman's Daughter (1)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
2,4291644,424 (3.63)115
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.… (més)

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» Mira també 115 mencions

Anglès (162)  Japonès (1)  Alemany (1)  Totes les llengües (164)
Es mostren 1-5 de 164 (següent | mostra-les totes)
wonderful story

Very believable and gripping. A real medieval page-turner! Well written and structured, good character development, and an imaginative twist for historical mysteries. ( )
  ColleenMorton | Jan 3, 2021 |
This story has some descriptions of hangings, tortures and rotting corpses. The story revolves around the murder of two children and wit others missing and the witch hunt. The overall "feel" of the book is dark with a sense of near hopelessness. The era was a difficult time so the writing did a very good job of capturing this. This story turns out to fall somewhere between family history (the author is a descendent of the Kuisls, as dynasty of executioners) and historical fiction. For me, the story was well-paced and while clues are abundant, the final solution to the motive of the crime(s) was well thought out and believable. I will definitely be reading more of this author's books. ( )
  feralcatbob | Dec 22, 2020 |
I made it halfway, but haven't picked it up for awhile, and now I just don't care. ( )
  pmichaud | Dec 21, 2020 |
I quite enjoyed this, once it got going - a novel take on the whodunnit, set in C17th Germany. Sympathetic and credible characters in a vividly portrayed setting, so much so that one is glad to have been born four hundred years later! ( )
  jtck121166 | Jun 9, 2020 |
What I liked about "The Hangman's Daughter" was how directly it dealt with the brutality of life in seventeenth century Bavaria. The work of the town hangman: torturing, breaking bones, and executing people with sword or rope or fire, is described with a graphic clarity that is not for the faint hearted.

"The Hangman's Daughter" illustrates both the mechanics by which superstition creates fear and channels it into hatred and the difficulty of combating this response in world were people have been raised to rely more on belief than reason and where the Church and the State both underwrite the existence of magic and actively pursue those who are believed to use it. The witch-hunt mentality is described as a smoldering fire that can be fanned into an inferno if the authorities fail to take the right action.

The political and social realities of the time (women as property and slightly less valuable than cattle, a class-ridden society where God, the torturer and the men with weapons are on the side of the property-owning classes, where orphans are cared for but seldom loved and where uneducated children run in packs in the streets) are described in a matter-of-fact way that is more disturbing than if the author had made the characters express anachronistic disapproval of the world they live in.

I got the sense that, in this recently war-torn land, peace, prosperity and the maintenance of the status quo where always under threat and that the most effective response to the threat was the judicious use of repressive, or at least retributive, violence by the State. People needed to be kept in their place or the world would devolve into the anarchy that they had lived through during the war years when soldiers ravaged the land. Of course, this is a world view that some of our leaders share even today.

The murders in the book are there to do more than set a "whodunnit?" puzzle, they are an opportunity to explore how little power people had over their own lives and to experience the impact of the belief systems of the time. Nevertheless, the plot is solid and, apart from a slightly irritating tendency to mislead the reader by playing with timelines, it is well told.

One thing that didn't work so well for me was the way in which the focus of the book moved from person to person, mainly the hangman, the young physician and the hangman's daughter, without really getting inside the heads of any of them: we are told what they're thinking and sometime what they're feeling but it's all a little at arm's length from their emotions.

Despite the title, this book is not primarily about or told from the perspective of the hangman's daughter. The hangman's daughter is not a modern kick-ass amateur detective heroine dressed in a period costume. Yet the character of the young woman: curious, brave, strong-willed, playful and secure in her own worth despite being reviled by the people of the town, told me more about the hangman than anything else in the book. ( )
  MikeFinnFiction | May 16, 2020 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 164 (següent | mostra-les totes)
"The shocking motivations from unlikely players provide for a twist that will leave readers admiring this complex tale from a talented new voice."
afegit per bookfitz | editaPublishers Weekly (May 16, 2011)
 

» Afegeix-hi altres autors (2 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Pötzsch, OliverAutorautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Chadeayne, LeeTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Corley, M. S.Il·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Gardner, GroverNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Marić, SabineTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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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.

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Mitjana: (3.63)
0.5 1
1 12
1.5 3
2 42
2.5 15
3 181
3.5 64
4 279
4.5 21
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