I came across The Hangman’s Daughter at random one day while sifting through the many offerings over at Amazon. My initial interest was piqued by the simple reason the author is German*, but I picked it up because I thought my mum would like to read it. (We share books.)
The Hangman’s Daughter is a Historical Fiction. What does that mean? Well in this case, the author, Oliver Pötzsch is actually a descendant of the main character in the story – however the events are somewhat fictionalized.
“This book is a novel and not a scholarly thesis. I have attempted to stick to the facts as much as possible. Nevertheless for dramaturgical reasons I have often had to simplify. … I venture to express my doubts whether my ancestor actually came to the aid of a midwife whom he had tortured, but I can in any case imagine it to be possible. After all, he was my great-great-grandfather, and as we know, we never want to doubt our families.” -Oliver Pötzsch
Just this fact alone – the author being related to the main character, an actual hangman (a profession that I had until now no reason to think about)- was enough to get me to read.
I loved the book. Every twist and turn, every heartbreaking moment, the mystery, the history, absolutely everything.
At the heart of this book is a mystery and well written one at that. I was nearly at the end before I connected all the dots for myself. Pötzsch does a wonderful job weaving of fact and fiction together.
There isn’t much more I can say about The Hangman’s Daughter without giving the mystery away.
Read the book. Tell me what you think.
*I grew up in Germany