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 the stake just 70 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.
©2011 Oliver Pötzsch, Lee Chadeayne (translation) (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
better writing/story/characters. Characters are sterotypes -- good wise women accused of being witches, evil fat money bags, a limping badguy who is the devil incarnate because he is named so, and the best a hero hangman "sorry i have to torture you because otherwise i can't be around to prove you innocent" -- and too many modern sensibilities for what should be a recreation of the 1600's. The tie the innocent girl to the train tracks plot set in a poorly depicted medieval town.
not his fault
This was a great book, very engaging, but the narrator was just awful! Lacking any inflection, he rattled on in a monotone, even when describing some really harrowing bits of the story. Still well worth a listen, I wish I'd read the book, since I think I would have given this a 5-star rating. The narrator almost killed it for me.
I love all genres of books. However, when I listen to audio books as I clean, garden, drive they are better with a lot of heat!
The story takes place in the middle ages in a German State and is hard to put down. The Hangman is the town executioner, torturer, herbalist, and a family man. He and his family are necessary to the town and at the same time are outcasts of the society. His daughter is a haughty sexy girl who defies the norms as does the Hangman and a local young physician. All are ahead of their time in a world mired in superstition, and religious fervor. A murderer is at work killing children, a mystical mark is found on the bodies, a witch is blamed and the authorities are too eager to find an easy solution to the problem.
The Hangman and the physician use science and common sense to unravel the mystery. The villains and the heroes use violence and torture to achieve their ends. Well written, historically accurate, this is a good read.
Grover Gardner did a good job delivering the story
The premise for this book is intriguing, but in reality it falls far short of even being remotely good. If it wasn't for some farely graphic descriptions of violence I would have thought that it was aimed at the young adult or even children's market.
Some of the istorical background is interesting but the story itself is barely credible. Again and again our heroes are saved by coincidences and occurrances which stretch the definition of Deus ex machina to its absolute limit.
Lastly, the dialogue is wooden and many passages often repeat themselves.
It is possible that some of these faults are due to a poor translation from the original german, but it doesn't excuse the tissue thin plot and eventual resolution.
There are many other historical who done its out there which are more worthy of your credits.
No, just because it is really long and some parts could be cut. However, I did enjoy it.
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
This is my first listen with him.
No, but I enjoyed it.
The book has been heavily praised and heavily criticized. I liked it, but I didn't love it. This book is the first in a series of at least five, and I liked it enough to download the next one.
The book's opening scene starts out strong and the narrator does an excellent job making it more vivid and giving it more depth. Unfortunately even he cannot prevent the story from becoming tiresome and shallow. The author has done many things right: interesting likeable protagonist, (which is not the hangman's daughter but the hangman himself) and an interesting setting. But many side characters (and there are A LOT) are just tediously one-dimensional. They remind me of townspeople of Belle's village in Disney's Beauty and the Beast but instead of yelling "Kill the Beast," it's "Kill the witch". And they do come across as cartoony.
Also, the author's favourite suspense device is to keep things in the dark. You get glimpses of the villains' thoughts but it's repetitive and almost clumsily done. It's a shame. The book could have been much better.
I loved this historical thriller from the 1660s in Germany. It was the story about a hangman, his daughter, and a young physician trying to prove the innocence of a midwife accused of murder and witchcraft. It got a bit graphic with the details of torture, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I thought the characters had depth and the story kept my interest. It was read by Grover Gardner who did a fine job with the narration. Story 4 1/2 stars. Narration 5 stars.
Nothing. I found the idea of making the hangman the 'good guy' quite revolting. And the interview with the author, talking about his ancestor, and kind of glorifying him, even more disturbing. Could not get past that.
No, just this author.
This is a well written mystery with an original setting inRennaisance Germany.
The setting in Germany was interesting. The mystery itself was rather workman like.
Grover Gardner did an excellent job narrating. I have heard him narrate several novels and I have never been disappointed.
Yes . Christian Bale would make a great Hangman!
The story felt a bit long and drawn out at times, especially considering these are not very complex characters ... Overall, not bad if you enjoy this particular genre. But don't expect to be blown away.
"The Hangman's Daughter"
Excellent - don't pass this one up! I wish I could find more historical novels like this. Having grown weary of novels set in Tudor times, I found this little gem while browsing historical crime/thrillers. Set in seventeenth century Bavaria it involves a reluctant executioner, a midwife accused of witchcraft, a young physician and, of course, the hangman's daughter. The plot involves a village with with a less than scrupulous town council and the lengths some would go to in order to cover their greed. The characters were well drawn and the author made me feel I was right there living the story.
If you like historical novels you will love this book. I do not know if the author has written any other books, but I will definitely be searching. Don't forget to listen to the author's notes at the end. Very revealing!
"Spoilt by the narrator"
This is a good story though a little slow to start. A promising start to the series. I may read the rest of the series rather than have them on audible because the narration is simply appalling. Like listening to a robot with an annoying american drawl
I wasn't sure I was going to like this at first. Not even sure why I downloaded this. As it turned out once started I found it difficult to stop listening. Perhaps the fact that the story is based upon a real family history made it so believable. Certainly Grover Gardner delivers the performance that I have come to expect - just the right voice for this story.
Unusual story which I struggled to put down. Found the narrator a bit off until I got used to him, after which it was fine. I love books about subjects which are new to me, and this was one of the better ones.
This story is fantastic a sort of ancient Bavarian murder she wrote although there is actual history and events written into the book. The narrator is perfect for this series and makes the books even better.
Report Inappropriate Content