05 April 2011
Review: The Hangman's Daughter - chapters 1-3
The Hangman's Daughter - chapters 1-3 by Oliver Pötzsch
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I picked this book up because it's been quite the buzz for awhile and it was on sale for the Kindle. This is basically a fictionalized look at Oliver Potzsch's family history, which makes it very interesting.
The story is that of a Hangman, a necessary but shunned profession in the middle ages, and his daughter. The story is basically a detective novel set in medieval Bavaria. The town is rocked when children start turning up dead and a midwife is quickly arrested and charged with witchcraft, despite it being fairly clear she wasn't involved. The town leaders determine that the best thing for the town is to convince her (through torture) to confess so she can be executed and the town can put the whole affair behind them. The Hangman must torture the confession out of her, but he's also racing to find the true killer.
The story is interesting, the writing is adequate, however the author relies far too often on simply not telling you some key piece of evidence in order to keep the suspense up. It's fairly common for the characters in the book to come across something and think to themselves "Ahh, so that's it!" But the reader isn't told what that is until the very end during the big reveal. A more seasoned mystery writer would have been able to handle this better, I think. But overall it's pretty good.
If you can borrow this, and don't have anything else you're dying to read, this is an interesting diversion.
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Posted by Chad at Tuesday, April 05, 2011