The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Pötzsch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I LOVED THIS BOOK! It's actually more about Jakob Kuisl, the hangman, and Simon, the physician, and would-be suitor of Magdalena, Jacob's daughter, who does - yes - play a key role, but the story is Jacob's and it's freaking awesome!
We're taken back to 1659, right after the Thirty Years’ War has finally ended, and all of a sudden, children are dying under suspicious circumstances with what appear to be marks of a witch tattooed on their bodies. The villagers all gang up on the midwife, who goes to prison to be tortured by Jacob until she signs a confession, whereupon they can kill her. The problem is, Jacob believes she's innocent, so it's a race against time for the three protagonists to find who's really doing this and clear the midwife while the townspeople are calling for her head.
It's a fantastic historical mystery based on the author's own family, of centuries ago, but he comes from a lineage of German hangmen, and that made it more interesting for me. Fascinating, detailed, suspenseful, and totally believable, I can't recommend this book enough. Five stars and strongly recommended!
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