This is the 5th book in the Hangman’s Daughter series by Oliver Pötzsch. Once again you are taken back to 17th century Germany to visit with the Kuisl family. And for anyone who has read any of the previous books, the characters are just as stubborn and frustrating as ever. And once again, you can’t get enough of them.
Jakob Kuisl and his family travel to Bamberg to attend the wedding of his brother, the Bamberg executioner. Just as they reach the gates the severed arm of a man is found and sets in motion events that entangle the entire Kuisl family into a mystery that has left the citizens of Bamberg scared and superstitious.
There have been a number of disappearances of several highly esteemed citizens and with the discovery of severed limbs in the forest and surrounding rivers, the town is on edge. There have been reports of a beast that behaves like a man, a werewolf. Eyewitness accounts say that the beast runs on all four legs but then can stand up like a man. Soon enough there is an inquisition set in motion by the bishop and the council to bring about the capture of the beast. Jakob, Magdalena and Simon join together with the rest of their family to discover the real secret behind this werewolf and put a stop to the madness before anyone else gets hurt. Especially someone in the Kuisl family.
This story had plenty of action and plenty of twists and turns. There was also a good amount of the usual Kuisl family drama and insight into the class system that ruled their lives and caused people to look at them as little better than the people that he tortured and executed at the council’s demand.
Once again, the period was meticulously researched. While this is a work of fiction, many of the characters truly existed and many of the events actually happened. Any fan of a historical fiction and a good historic mystery would not go wrong in reading this series.