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.
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,
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.
"The Hangman's Daughter"
Excellent - don't pass this one up! I wish I could find more historical novels like this. Having grown weary of novels set in Tudor times, I found this little gem while browsing historical crime/thrillers. Set in seventeenth century Bavaria it involves a reluctant executioner, a midwife accused of witchcraft, a young physician and, of course, the hangman's daughter. The plot involves a village with with a less than scrupulous town council and the lengths some would go to in order to cover their greed. The characters were well drawn and the author made me feel I was right there living the story.
If you like historical novels you will love this book. I do not know if the author has written any other books, but I will definitely be searching. Don't forget to listen to the author's notes at the end. Very revealing!
"Spoilt by the narrator"
This is a good story though a little slow to start. A promising start to the series. I may read the rest of the series rather than have them on audible because the narration is simply appalling. Like listening to a robot with an annoying american drawl
I wasn't sure I was going to like this at first. Not even sure why I downloaded this. As it turned out once started I found it difficult to stop listening. Perhaps the fact that the story is based upon a real family history made it so believable. Certainly Grover Gardner delivers the performance that I have come to expect - just the right voice for this story.
Unusual story which I struggled to put down. Found the narrator a bit off until I got used to him, after which it was fine. I love books about subjects which are new to me, and this was one of the better ones.
Went on a little longer than expected and felt a bit confusing at times but likeable all the same. I will probably try another in the series, but not immediately.
"A very unusual take on the usual crime/thriller .."
Unusual ...Medieval ...murder/mystery
The fact the Hangman, who fulfils the traditional role of 'investigating detective' in a crime/thriller model, isn't 2-dimensional 'squeaky clean' - he's a hangman and also a torturer. So the usual tired formula of crime/thrillers doesn't apply here - he even has to torture completely innocent people, and yet remain a character that you think of positively.
His narration is very appropriate for the type of story and the timescale. I think possibly without Grover I don't know if I would have got through the book simply reading it.
Not particularly - it's a crime/thriller, probably in the genre of a Cadfael novel except the setup is with the Hangman as the investigator rather than a monk.
It has been a light, interesting insight into germanic medieval history. The author was inspired to write the stories after researching his family history and discovering he was descended from a medieval hangman. So, it is interesting to note the true-life historical elements of the story.
This story is fantastic a sort of ancient Bavarian murder she wrote although there is actual history and events written into the book. The narrator is perfect for this series and makes the books even better.
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