Monday, October 31, 2011

The Hangman's Daughter

"Germany, 1660: 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. So begins The Hangman's Daughter--the chillingly detailed, fast-paced historical thriller from German television screenwriter Oliver P√∂tzsch, a descendant of the Kuisls, a famous Bavarian executioner clan.
Magdalena, the clever and headstrong daughter of Bavarian hangman Jakob Kuisl, lives with her father outside the village walls and is destined to be married off to another hangman’s son—except that the town physician’s son is hopelessly in love with her. And her father’s wisdom and empathy are as unusual as his despised profession. It is 1659, the Thirty Years’ War has finally ended, and there hasn’t been a witchcraft mania in decades. But now, a drowning and gruesomely injured boy, tattooed with the mark of a witch, is pulled from a river and the villagers suspect the local midwife, Martha Stechlin."

Plot: The plot is complicated yet simple, there are moments when you don't know what it going to happen, and then there are moments, where you can predict exactly what is going to happen. The plot is based on the author's relative and combines folklore, to make his fictional story with family as characters. The setting and the characters  are original, but the story is pretty much a mystery who dun it. It is also one of those stories, where you can't miss a sentence, otherwise you will miss an important piece of the puzzle.
Characters: I liked that main character Jokab The Hangman and Simon The Physician, although different in many ways they make a great team. Other characters come through clearly and every person mentioned has a part, they aren't just scenery or fillers.
Pros: Original Casting, Awesome translation, told well.
Cons: Could have been edited down a little, maybe too long, not enough romance!
Final Thoughts: The second I saw this book at San Jose airport I knew, I had to have it and it is a great addition to my book collection. The whole story takes place in  a matter of a week and begins fairly quickly. I liked that we jumped into the story really quick, but as usual this leads to me curious what the next 400 pages are going to hold then. Is it going to be this crazy hard to put down story, or is it just going to be long, and repetitive. The Hangman's Daughter was both. Towards the end you could really figure out what was going on and they just kind of dragged it on. Although, the mystery was interesting, the solution was too simple. Also, Although the title of The Hangman's Daughter sounds really cool, she wasn't THAT big of a character. She was in the book, but didn't contribute enough to be the title (In My Opinion) and I would preferred a deeper love connection between her and Simon. I liked that although the book took place in the 1600's the narrative was very modernized. Which at times did bother me, but I think it was smart. It helps from dating the book, as well as opening the book up from being strictly Historical Fiction.  My other thing I liked was calling the main bad guy The Devil. It had so many layers. Since the book dealt with the possibility of Witchcraft and conjuring the Devil and there was a truly evil man actually committing the crimes. Referring to him as the Devil most the time was smart. However, it got confusing when they would refer to something as the actual Devil and I would have to re read the sentence to determine if the meant the Character or figuratively.  The Hangman's Daughter is a good book, and a decent Historical Fiction read. I don't adore this books story as much as I adore the cover though.

1 comment:

  1. The cover and title ARE both really cool and intriguing. It's a shame there's not enough romance - I love love! :D