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The Hangman's Daughter | [Oliver Pötzsch, Lee Chadeayne (translator)]

The Hangman's Daughter

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. When more children disappear and an orphan is found dead with the same mark, the mounting hysteria threatens to erupt. Before the unrest forces him to torture and execute the woman who aided in the birth of his children, Jakob must unravel the truth.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (1360 )
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Story
4.0 (1213 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Thomas Tariffville, CT, United States 06-16-13
    Thomas Tariffville, CT, United States 06-16-13 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "All Three in the Series"

    There were a mix of reviews from not finishing the book to a great story. I finished all three and found them enjoyable.

    This was an interesting well spun story. I enjoyed the historical detail interwoven with fiction. The author does a great job developing the characters, book three develops the history of the main character of the hangman.

    Narration is enjoyable and brings the book to life. All in all a book I would recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Foster Royal Oak, Michigan, United States 06-13-13
    Foster Royal Oak, Michigan, United States 06-13-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Grisly yet Gripping"

    There were times when the dialogue was so gruesome that it was difficult to stomach. On the other hand I love authenticity in historical novels and this one embraced the superstition, gross ignorance, base cruelty and hard life of Renaissance Bavarian in graphic details. Good story, well told but I don't think my wife will ever want to hear the sequels! I may have to listen on my own.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica minneapolis, MN, United States 06-06-13
    Jessica minneapolis, MN, United States 06-06-13

    i'm listening

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "this is really good"

    this is a mystery written in simple, plain language. It is engaging from the word go and while it certainly is a bit gruesome at times it is never gross. Also, and I was rather schocked by this, while the plot is fictional the ' world...." the details of what an executioner's life was like in 1600's germany are supposed to be historically acurate. I say supposed to be because how the heck would I know... but it rings true.

    I contrast this with another book I downloaded at the same time that launched into a complicated explaination of the political structure of the world using affected language .... turned me off totally. This is a story well told and you do come to understand the politics of the place as things happen. Its a good story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    06-01-13
    06-01-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Like reading a teen book."
    What would have made The Hangman's Daughter better?

    A better reader to start with. I felt I was being read to from a young adult book. There was absolutely no zip to it considering the tale it was telling.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    A different reader - not so dragged out. This is one of the first books I have read in a long time that I didn't finish. I found I could drive miles and be distracted by something else and didn't miss enough of the book to rewind.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Grover Gardner?

    ID give it a try - i find not all readers are for all books- except perhaps Humphrey Bowers.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It could have been an intriguing story but is was too dragged out - or the reader didnt do it justice. I'm still puzzled by that one. It could be a combination of both. Or just the translation


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth Bennettsville, SC, United States 05-28-13
    Beth Bennettsville, SC, United States 05-28-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Step Back in Time"
    Where does The Hangman's Daughter rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top Five


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    The story builds on the little clues and is not obvious.


    What does Grover Gardner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Great voice, easy on the ears. Pronunciation of main character names, I was totally messing them up when I started the book on Kindle.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Not sure


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brent L. Bordelon Charlotte, NC United States 05-27-13
    Brent L. Bordelon Charlotte, NC United States 05-27-13 Member Since 2011
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    Story
    "Lost in translation"

    Several times while listening, I contemplated stopping but didn't. I continued on, thinking that maybe I wasn't in the right mood or was too distracted to enjoy. Then at about halfway through I thought, this book sounds like a bad translation of something else - then I remembered it *is* a translation, and a pretty bad one.

    Every sentence is an awkward, almost painful marriage of German words and modern American slang, tied together using only the plainest wording choices possible.

    In all fairness to the author, this might be an awesome book in it's own language. Unfortunately, the translation acts like literary weed killer, leaving nothing but dead, dry husks of sentences that may once have been flowers or weeds.

    Having read many great translations (the Alexander books by Valerio Massimo Manfredi comes to mind), I really never gave a second thought to whether a book was translated or not. From now on, I suppose I should.

    I give 3 stars for story because it may be good, and it may be bad - I don't know.

    4 stars for Mr. Gardner. What a brave man!

    Mr. Pötzsch, please find a new translator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alcairha Brooklyn, NY 03-22-13
    Alcairha Brooklyn, NY 03-22-13 Member Since 2004
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    "Wonderful atmospheric depiction of medieval life"
    What made the experience of listening to The Hangman's Daughter the most enjoyable?

    1. Well developed quirky characters you quickly love and care about. 2. Colorful, psychotic, inhuman murderers that you make you hate them passionately, although you also come to understand how the horrible brutal life they lived made them this way3. The real culprits are the the complacent burghers, who don't care about justice or truth, and only want their comfortable life to continue, no matter what the cost to the helpless people they torture and whose lives they destroy. This hasn't changed in modern times as much as one would think...3. A very satisfying ending. 4. I particularly loved the contrast between the village torturer and hangman, who is the most compassionate, caring, ethical individual in the story versus the politicians, who should be the ones caring for the town, but who are the real torturers and inquisitors. 5. The horrible helplessness of women in those times, who were victims of superstition, ignorance and greed. It makes you appreciate how lucky we are to live in this day and age in America, where we enjoy freedom and liberties unimaginable to women in medieval times or even as recently as the 19th century6. I am a physician myself and can really appreciate the hard life of a physician in those times, who had to fight inconceivable ignorance and superstition to further scientific progress. Things haven't changed as much as one would think here either!7. Historical accuracy8. and finally, great story telling! Nothing beats that!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Hangman's Daughter?

    As a woman, I liked Magdalena's escape from the soldiers who were trying to rape her, but there were so many memorable scenes, it's hard to say which one I liked best. the


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    The narration was clear and easy to follow, but this is not one of my favorite narrators. I found the narration a bit dry and unemotional for the story


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Without question! It was the kind of story that makes you late for work, because you can't wait to find out what happens next. I found myself turning it on every second i could. I'm about to devour the sequels.


    Any additional comments?

    I had a hard time with the scenes of torture, which were mercifully cut short just at the point where I was going to have to either fast forward or shut down the book. I know that torture was common place in those days, but it is still hard to stomach with modern sensibilities

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natalie Port Matilda, PA, United States 03-18-13
    Natalie Port Matilda, PA, United States 03-18-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Loved it!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Very good read.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved all of the characters.


    Have you listened to any of Grover Gardner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but I can't wait to read another one.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jill Locust Grove, GA, United States 08-26-12
    Jill Locust Grove, GA, United States 08-26-12 Member Since 2008

    Audiobook addict

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Surprised"

    I really liked this story. The narration was a bit dry but I did appreciate the pronunciation of unfamiliar German words. I thoroughly enjoyed the character of The Hangman.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maureen McRae Camarillo, CA United States 08-06-12
    Maureen McRae Camarillo, CA United States 08-06-12 Member Since 2010
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    "An excellent listen"
    What did you love best about The Hangman's Daughter?

    The story is compelling and lures you back into every time you are forced to put it down. At times it is difficult to keep the charters separate because the names are unfamiliar. It is one of the frustration with listening vs. reading. But I found googling the book and seeing the names helped with that quite a bit.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    There were enough twists in the plot to keep me listening and you were always wanting to know what would happen next. That time in historic Bavaria is foreign enough to me, that it was sometimes like reading about a different planet, so plot twists were compelling and left you wanting more.


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    I very seldom read books written by men with a male lead (this one was recommended by my daughter), so his deep rich voice was a novelty to me. His "voice" for each character was different enough to assist in keeping track of them, but not so different that it felt like "play-acting" which is the WORST thing in audio books! I enjoyed the book so much that I have now listened to the 2nd one (The Dark Monk) and can't wait for the third to be translated.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The hangman's compassion and his recognition that what society says about people is very different from what people actually are. Many historical fictions keep everyone in a prescribed "role" seen through our eyes and translated into their time. In this book, you saw the historical accuracy of the period and yet saw how people could acted within its confines.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the authors postscript about how he researched the book and gave color to his characters. It added such passion to the work. Please get the 3rd book translated and into an audio book ASAP!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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