I honestly had no idea of what I was getting into when I started The Hangman’s Daughter. But it turned out to be an exciting mystery with several well developed and likable characters set in medieval Bavaria (at least that’s what I got). I’m not a history buff so I don’t know if there were a lot of things out of place in the story, but either way I’ve never let a couple anachronicities bother me. I think that’s why I like Thursday Next so much. Anyway…
Jakob Kuisl is the hangman, Magdalena is his daughter. Simon is the physician’s son, and is one as well but is not highly regarded as such. The story opens with young Jakob vowing to never take the job of his father, the hangman, but that didn’t turn out too well for him. Fast forward to when our events take place. A boy is found in the river and when pulled out a witches symbol emblazoned on his back. The townspeople are in a rage and cry witch, so to suppress an uproar the town’s midwife is imprisoned, since she’s the easiest scapegoat.
Jakob, Simon and a few others do not believe the midwife is guilty, and commit to solving the mystery surrounding the deaths (yeah, more turn up, since witches hate kids and need them for potions. I mean, didn’t you see Hocus Pocus? Geez.), which involves more than they originally had thought.
I thought it was a good read. I was excited in the last few chapters when the mystery was coming to light. And even though I figured out who was behind it (**Spoiler Alert**: it’s totes witches. Not.) the climax of the story wasn’t ruined. I grew to really enjoy the relationship forged between the hangman and the young doctor. If the other two books that came out involve the same cast of characters I may have to check them out. I would recommend.