Review: The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Pötzsch, Lee Chadeayne (Translator)

This is one case where you should never go by the title.  The novel should have been titled The Hangman’s Son.  The history of the storyline is very interesting and contains within it a sub-story of its own that I would one day like to see the author develop.  The history of the “hangman” is mostly attached to witch trials and the “beheadings” of the past but the writer takes the reader deeper into the feelings of the hangman and what it means for himself and his family. 

The story is rich with mystery and suspense but lacks richness in the character of Magdelena, the hangman’s daughter.  The focus is primarily put on the Hangman and the young physician that aids him in seeking the killer of two young children before the fear of witchcraft takes over the village.  The contrast and conflict between the generations is as strong antagonist in this story as well as the storyline of the murders. 

I was absolutely enlightened at the personal struggle of the hangmen and the ridicules that they faced in our history.  Many of the Hollywood portrayals have been way off course.  This novel is a good read and filled with enlightening moments where young learn from the elders and the elders learn from the youth.  Some violence, but right in-line with the story, should be good for teens and adults.  Enjoy!