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 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
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,
I am partway into the book and am reading/listening on a Kindle using immersive reading, so I see the text at the same time that I hear Gardiner's narrative.
Gardiner is as always an accomplished and fluid narrator. His reading stays close to the Kindle book but occasionally strays as if he is reading from a different translation. Most of hese differences are insubstantial but sometimes they actually change the meaning - for example Gardiner says "new-fangled potion" in place ofthe Kindle book's "ominous potion." If you are a purist, besxt keep this in mind.
I may edit this review after I finish the book, if Audbile allows that. I do find it hard to put down and all the main characgers are engaging. This first in the series is a good read and based on reviews books later in the series are an even better read.
It was different and I loved that it gave hints to help us work out the plot. I liked most of the characters. I am writing the review quite some time after listening to it, however I do not think I had any issues with the narrator. It did start better than it ended and I may read another. The author may improve and smooth out his writing as the series progresses. I liked the character of Jakob he seemed well developed. His daughter and the doctor had some inconsistent flaws, possibly we lose something in translation. In general a solid 4 stars.
Not by the author, narrator fine.
"The Boy in his Winter; An American Novel"
The graphic violence
Using his far distant ancestor who was a hangman in Bavaria in the 17th century as the main charcater was a great idea but the story developed very slowly and was quite repetitive (I can't count how many times a charcter reminded us of the main plot elements). Overall can't recommend.
Give me a good mystery and I am happy!
I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery set in the 1600's in Germany. The author transports you back to a time before all of our modern conveniences and modern ways of thinking. How different things were back then. This is a fascinating series, and I will get them all. Well worth the credit and time.
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