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.
If the narrator hadn't read so quickly.
Probably not, unless I knew he hadn't read so quickly.
Maybe my brain is just slow, but this is the first audio book I've listened to that I couldn't keep up with all the details. I got the Audible version at a reduced price after buying the Kindle edition, and only listened for a few minutes before I was lost in all the descriptions that I couldn't keep track of simply because they came at machine-gun rates. I switched to reading the Kindle version and found I had missed about half of the details! I read books for the details, so this was unacceptable to me.I'm not a veteran audio book listener, but I've listened to well over a dozen in my time. I've never heard one narrated in such a rushed manner. Buyer beware!
I really enjoyed this intriguing mystery with great glimpses into history. Combined with the fabulous narration it a win-win!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
ID give it a try - i find not all readers are for all books- except perhaps Humphrey Bowers.
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
The story builds on the little clues and is not obvious.
Great voice, easy on the ears. Pronunciation of main character names, I was totally messing them up when I started the book on Kindle.
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.
Yes. Very good read.
I loved all of the characters.
No, but I can't wait to read another one.
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.
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