The third book in the Hangman’s Daughter series starts in Shongau, where Jakob Kusil and his titular daughter live with the rest of their family and the various other Shongauians. Jakob leaves right at the beginning and goes to Regensburg – the big city. He received a letter saying his sister was very ill and needed him. She had run away from Shongau to marry a bath house owner. After Jakob leaves, Magdalena is her usual charming self, to the point that some of the less cool townspeople try to burn her house down, with her mom and younger siblings in it. The family escapes, but Magdalena decides she needs to leave the town.
Meanwhile, Jakob gets to Regensburg, goes to see his sister, and finds her and her husband dead. Interestingly the local constables show up right then and arrest Jakob for the murders. He’s clearly been set up, but he has no idea why or by whom. Magdalena and Simon head for Regensburg, find out what’s happened to Jakob, and set to investigating the crime. They also somehow are thought to be arsonists, maybe witches. They’re adopted by the local raftmaster, an Italian ambassador, and the homeless coalition.
Poor Jakob gets a dose of his own medicine while he is tortured by the local executioner, his torture being overseen by someone who takes great delight in his agony. Jakob also remembers the time when he was younger, a mercenary soldier, trying to keep his men in line, preventing them from raping and pillaging innocent villages.
There is quite a lot of running about and twists and turns in this book, with no one really knowing who to trust and who is trying to kill them. It seems like the only honorable people are Jakob and the Regensburg hangman, even though they’re thought to be the lowest of the low. It’s all wrapped up a bit neatly and violently at the end, but it all comes right in the end, or at least as right as things can be.
The fourth book is set to be released within the next month or so, I’ve already pre-ordered.