Historical fiction, Mystery

The Hangman’s Daughter (The Hangman’s Daughter #1) by Oliver Pötzsch

This book is not a mystery in the traditional sense but since the core of the story lies within solving a problem and ensuring the release an unjustly accused innocent, I decided a ‘mystery’ tag is more appropriate than a thriller.

This book has as the lead character the town executioner ,  Jakob Kuisl. Jakob is in a job that no one wants, with skills beyond the requirement of his job. He is a grand character around whom the story flows. It was interesting to realise ( towards the end since I did not do the proper research required before hand) that he and most of the details peppered through the book are all based largely on reality.

Life in a Bavarian town of Schongau seemed to me to be a mockery of the word civilization. There are people steeped in self preservation and there lack of deference to  ‘facts’ and the absence of morals was hard to digest initially. I avoided borrowing the book on Kindle unlimited for a long while considering the content too morose. The story does have its share of dark and dreary life as mentioned in the earlier sentences but it is filled with a tapestry of people which adds a lot of colour to the tale. The audible narration was perfect to set the tone of the story.

The cry of witchcraft has been raised in the village because of a mark on a child found floating in the river, this is followed by an uncontrolled set of events that railroad through the lives of all involved. The hangman and man silently courting (which is forbidden) his daughter set out to set things right.The daughter puts her oar in on most occasions to steer them along. What their investigations reveal will change their dynamic and probably bring tentative peace to their village.

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