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.
Why is it that every book now seems to be about somebody who happens to have a daughter? Anyway, this is one of those typical Mideval mysteries in the spirit of Cadfael only instead of a monk, the detective is a hangman. This hangman has his compassionate side. He also seems to be intellectually overqualified for his job title, but this is a family business. There are the typical church ideologues, self-serving municipal functionaries and herbal remedies and poisons though the apothecary plot elements are handled by a young doctor instead of being a hobby of the protagonist. Historical series (Aubrey/Maturin or Poldark for example) always have to include a doctor. Well somebody has to sew up the wounded or discover the tincture of murder. It's not a bad story, it's just that I've read its kind so often before and the characters feel inserted into a formulaic plot like Lego pieces.
The narration of this book was in my opinion not well done. The tempo of the reader seemed off which made it very difficult to listen to. The storyline dragged on for what seems like an eternity.
I have both and enjoy them equally. I tend to follow one author on audio or print but seldom in both media. The author creates very vibrant scenes and complex characters that come alive in both media.
I've read all of Potzsch's books first. Gardner's interpretation of the characters meshed closely with what my imagination had constructed when I read the books. I would like to hear the son-in-law's (Simon) whininess a little more but Gardner's reading is enjoyable and easy to listen to.
I believe I listened to this one while driving across part of Texas!
The Hangman series of books can be read independently from one another but are more enjoyable when read in order. His character development is superb and continues throughout the series.
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!
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