Monday, February 14, 2011

The Hangman's Daughter - Oliver Pötzsch

I found this book via Amazon crossroads, which is an effort by Amazon to get English speaking people reading foreign books.  I think they might be trying to find the next Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  I can't blame them for trying!

This is a historic crime novel that takes place in the 1600's in the Bavarian town of Schongau.  Basically, a few children are murdered, and the town council wants to blame the local midwife via witchcraft because they are found with a strange marking on their back that looks like the work of witchcraft.  The town Hangman, Jakob Kuisl takes it upon himself to prove the midwife innocent, and thus finds himself in the middle of a somewhat complicated plot involving someone from his past.

I can't go too much into the story without revealing plot twists, but I will say the character development of the Hangman, and his sidekick Simon the itinerant surgeon is excellent.  The plot gets a little tiresome here and there, but overall it is enjoyable.  The quaint town makes a great setting for a crime mystery, and the villain (whom they literally call "The Devil" is a great evil character).  The dark mood in this book is second only to The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

The book is translated from German.  I never know if the simplistic language is a function of the translation, or if that is what the author originally intended.  There are several chase scenes in the book, and each time as the person gets tired, the "metallic taste" in the person's mouth is mentioned.  I don't know if "metallic taste" is the German equivalent of sinew/sinewy (my least favorite overused term in American fiction).

Another cool part of this novel is that the author is actually related to the (fictional) main character, Jakob Kuisl.  Apparently the Kuisl's are a long line of hangmen in Bavaria.  One of the author's relatives was an amateur genealogist who traced the family back to the Kuisl's.

For less than $5 on the Kindle, I think this is a great value and a great read!

My next read is The Monkey's Raincoat by Robert Crais - originally published in 1987.  Let's hear it for some old school crime fiction!


  1. That’s right, this website is one of the top 12,000 most viewed in FUCKING PAKISTAN.
    Why? Because they are the “English speaking writers” this fucked up company hires. I have also found evidence that suggests they have other writers in India and the Philippines. I know of a couple of companies that offer real English writers and I thought was one of them. Turns out they’re just a bunch of liars.

    The scam is real. They are thieves who could care less about you. Maybe you’ve had a couple decent papers from them. But sleep well knowing that they will take any measure to screw you over.

    That’s enough. Rant’s over. Fuck you,


    Reviewed by Sean Evans on March 25,2013 – Rating: 1.0
    Miserable experience.They ripped me off for $600 for a dissertation and refuse to give me my money back.”
    Taylor on June 4, 2013 at 10:52 PM said:
    You are right. I have been debating with them for at least a month now, trying to get my refunds, it’s because the writer can’t even write shit or follow the prompt. Claimed to be “professional” yeah right. They also claimed that they refunded my money already by just clearing out my balance. However, the email I received from money bookers still saying I was charged on that date. They lied & keep on saying “your refunds should be in 4-6.” i waited & after 2 weeks, still nothing. I keep on checking back even though they closed my inquiry many times. I mean, I only uploaded $55 for the balance, but I didn’t use it. The money isn’t that a big deal, it’s just the writers & their service is poorly done. I cancelled the writer because 1. Passed deadline 2. The paper was off topic, completely vague, lacks development & much more. 3. way different from U.S writing style 4. Busy schedule & I just want to try how this service work. Personally, i definitely to not recommend this service.

    Reply ↓
    admin on June 20, 2013 at 9:42 PM said:
    Thanks for your feedback, I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one.

  2. By and by, on the off chance that you have not paid inside the predefined course of events, your credit will "move over" and you will be charged high loan costs and