Book description from Amazon:
This novel has been popular in Germany since its 2008 publication there, and it’s easy to see why. Set in the mid-1600s in the Bavarian town of Schongau, it features a hangman, Jakob Kuisl, who is asked to find out whether an ominous tattoo found on a dying boy means that witchcraft has come to town. This is no idle fiction. The German rulers were, at the time, heavily involved in the detection, prosecution, and execution of suspect witches. Pötzsch, who is descended from the real-life Kuisl family, does an excellent job of telling the story and supplying the historical backdrop. And his characters—Jakob, the hangman; his daughter, Magdalena; and Simon, the physician’s son—are extremely well drawn and believable. Kudos, too, to translator Chadeayne, who retains the story’s German flavor while rendering the text in smooth and highly readable English. Readers of historical fiction should find this very much to their liking.
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