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.
I enjoyed the book, though I feel that the title is not adequate for the story line. The story held my interest and I will read more from this author.
I am a working mom who loves to squeeze in listening to books while walking, doing chores or commuting.
Yes. Although the story was good, it was not particularly interesting to me. I probably would not have finished the book in print version. The narrator made it more interesting.
The memorable moments were actually the unpleasant scenes. There were torture scenes that were unpleasant and hard to forget.
He has a nice voice and is pleasant to listen to while doing chores and commuting.
The torture scenes were unpleasant however, I occasionally like to be reminded of all the evil in the world. That said, the book did a good job reminding me that evil people lived, still live and will always live. All of us must do our part to combat evil and protect the victims.
As a Christian woman, this book was not pleasant to listen to, but I am glad for the reminders on how wicked some people are right among us. We must all do our part to make this world a better place. Good does triumph in the end!. Praise God!
It was an usual premise for a story.
It was a great story until it got 2/3 of the way through. Then it seemed like the author didn't know where he was going with it and quickly wrapped it up.
Most of the scenes were bleak. Torturing the poor mid-wife was cringe-worthy even though the hangman tried to spare her.
My reaction was disappointment in the way it wrapped up.
I read the previous reviews of this book and was a bit apprehensive. I am so glad I went ahead and downloaded it. I thought the writing was great. The storyline plodded along at a lovely pace. Not sure about the historical accuracies but you know what - who cares. I read it for its entertainment value not the correctness of facts.
If you are after a fairly meaty book without too many plot twists and turns this is the book for you. Cant wait to listen to the next book in the series..
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
THEN SHE KISSED HIM ON THE MOUTH. IT WAS BETTER THEN COFFEE.
This book does start with a gory, painful execution. The Hangman is also the town torturer, maker of love potions, etc... and it is bad luck to even look at him. His daughter is beautiful, but as the Hangman's daughter, she is ostracized by the town folk. The story is a multiple murder mystery of children, an adventure and a great look at the 1700's in Germany. The way people treat each other is unbelievable to us today. It was a hard world, with lots of poor uneducated people, taken advantage of by the rich.
As you would expect from a world like this, there are some strong characters. This is a character driven story of which the Hangman is outstanding. You will fall in love with his daughter who is also a strong willed character. She and a doctor (son of a bleeder) fall in love, but like Romeo and Juliet, it is not allowed. In the story a woman is accused of witchcraft and blamed for the death of the children. The Hangman knows she is innocent, but it is his job to torture her and get her confession. He with the help of the doctor must find out who is actually killing the kids before the accused witch confesses. Meanwhile the town starts accusing everything on witches and more people are accused of witchcraft.
At the end there is an afterword by the author. He has thoroughly researched this period. He got interested because he was tracing his own family roots and he discovered this line of Hangmen in his family history. This is educational as well as entertaining, my favorite way of learning about history.
I loved every minute of this book, and I am purchasing the sequel today. If you buy it before 4/21/15 you can get it for $6.99. If you like the type of books I like, I don't know how you can pass that up.
He made you feel like you were watching a movie. I felt like I was there in the village looking for the missing children, with the young doctor and the hangman.
I read the book using my Kindle Unlimited membership, I didn't realize I also received the Audio book free with the Kindle version. I couldn't put it down, I stayed up to 3:00am two nights in a row. The time would just disappear, I didn't want to put it down. The story was different than the books I usually read. I never knew or really thought about days when a Hangman was needed. I learned a lot.
Yes, and I have several times. I even bought it as a Christmas gift for my father.
He has a great way of speaking and it was nice to hear how the names were supposed to be said instead of the way they read in my language. Such as the character "Simon" which sounds more like "Zeeman". I highly recommend it.
The author provided a very diverse set of characters and told the story from all of their different angles, and it was full of detail and background information that lead to a very intriguing tale and colorful world to both get lost in and be horrified by.
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
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