Dianne's Reviews > The Hangman's Daughter

The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Pötzsch
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's review
Jan 20, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction-historical, medieval-mysteries
Read in January, 2012

An intrigueing glimpse into the Bavarian 'justice' system in 1650 which leaves one grateful to be living in the 21st century. When a child is murdered, and others disappear, blame immediately falls on the mid-wife who is accused of witchcraft. It is the hangman's duty to extract a confession from her by any means at his disposal which includes the use of torture. Indeed, the sooner they can burn her the better. Memories of a previous witch-hunt when sixty women of all classes were executed decades previously are imprinted on the communal mind and an early conviction will prevent a recurrence. But the Hangman believes her innocent, and has only a few days to solve the mystery.

It is a good story. The place of the hangman/torturer in society is nicely told - indeed the author is descended from one of the executioner families.

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