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 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.
A riveting mystery.
The search for the girls in the tunnels. The hangman fighting with the devil in such close quarters. Gripping.
His pronunciation and dialect removed me from sunny Florida and brought Bavaria to life.
No, I didn't have an extreme reaction, but it did fully engross me.
Definitely listening to the next book.
A shot in the dark that I truly enjoyed. I enjoy books that can give you a real taste of what a time must have been like and this delivers. A 17th century back drop full of greed, suspicion and mystery. A tale of poverty, hardship and witchcraft. Only a few of the characters live by their wits and not their fears and up until the end you aren't quite sure which group of citizens of this small European town will win.
This was an excellent book. It grabbed you from the first and completely carried you along to the end. I listened much longer than planned on several occasions just to find out what happened next. The performance was also outstanding. This book reminded me very much of the Robert McCammon series "speaks the nightbird".
the constant excitement of the story line and the presentation
the believability of the characters
I was just anxious for the story and the characters to continue
a fun read
My name is Richard and I am an addict.
Characters, characters, characters. Jakob Kuisel has arrived. I'm just waiting for some CEO to buy the movie rights and bring this book to the big screen. Jakob Kuisel is the next William Wallace, without all the Scottish independance stuff.
No giving away hints or scenes or anything else. But the book, you won't be disappointed. Just try to stop yourself from buying all the rest. Amazon should start selling a whole series discount for those of us junkies who are living paycheck to paycheck trying to support our audiobook addiction,
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