Jeanne's Reviews > The Hangman's Daughter

The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Pötzsch
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's review
Jun 16, 2011

really liked it

This text is the first in a mystery series set in a small town in 17th century Germany. It centres on the actions of the town executioner, as he investigates the murder of a child, and deals with the surrounding accusations of witchcraft which begin to fly. He is assisted in his investigations by the educated son of the local doctor, and by his own, somewhat forceful daughter - hence the title.

The plot of the text is quite clever, and intriguing. The characters are fairly detailed and well done; I particularly enjoyed the executioner, who comes across as a conflicted and conflicting figure.

It is in the generation of this world where the text really shines. The claustrophobic atmosphere of a medieval small town is evoked wonderfully. Neighbours turn on neighbours as accusations of witchcraft grow; the town authorities clamp down, and look for a confession from a suspect to stem the tide of paranoia and irrationality which sweeps the town.

Certainly one for historical mystery fans.
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