Cindy Crawford's Reviews > The Dark Monk

The Dark Monk by Oliver Pötzsch
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's review
Jul 18, 2012

really liked it
Read in July, 2012

** spoiler alert ** The Dark Monk, like The Hangman's Daughter, is not a book that I would normally read. I'm not really sure why I picked up The Hangman's Daughter, but I did and I really enjoyed it. I was looking forward to the next book in the series and The Dark Monk did not disappoint.

Once again the hangman Jakob Kuisl, his daughter Magdalena, and the young doctor Simon Fronwieser, find themselves embroiled in a mystery that grows in complexity and scope as the story unfolds. It begins with the murder of a simple priest, and by the end involves two gangs of robbers, the Knights Templar, another rival secret religious sect, the plague, secret clues, and the actual cross used when Christ was crucified, and of course some actual hangings. All three of the main characters use their own particular skills as each works to solve the mystery.

I'm not a historian so I don't know if the details are accurate, but they definitely ring true in the story itself. The people are both religious and superstitious, the townspeople both fear and look down on the hangman, the casual references to sex and attitude toward women seem right.

The hangman's daughter really shines in this book. She shows her fighter side when she is kidnapped by the dark monks and when she sees that Simon seems smitten by the sophisticated woman visiting the small town of Schongau.

Oliver Potzsch is one of the few writers I've ever found who makes me enjoy historical mysteries. I'm already looking forward to the next book in the series.
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