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The Dark Monk: A Hangman's Daughter Tale (UK Edition)

The Dark Monk: A Hangman's Daughter Tale (UK Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Oliver Pötzsch , Lee Chadeayne
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"If you enjoy an unlikely hero, look no further. The Dark Monk comes with three...In this subtle, meticulously crafted story, every word is a possible clue, and the characters are so engaging that it’s impossible not to get involved in trying to help them figure the riddle out."— 


"Pötszch knows Germany in his bones." —NPR, On Point


"[A] rousing sequel."

Chicago Tribune


"Swift and sure, compelling as any conspiracy theory, persuasive as any spasm of paranoia, The Dark Monk grips you at the base of your skull and doesn't let go."
—Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and Out of Oz

"Oliver Pötzsch takes readers on a darkly atmospheric visit to seventeenth-century Bavaria in his latest adventure. With enough mystery and intrigue to satisfy those who like gritty historical fiction, The Dark Monk has convincing characters, rip-roaring action, and finely-drawn settings."
—Deborah Harkness, author of A Discovery of Witches and the forthcoming Shadow of Night

"Weaving together the mystery of a murdered priest, a Templar treasure, and a kind-hearted hangman, Oliver Pötzsch's The Dark Monk is a labyrinth of clues and rich characters in seventeenth-century Bavaria. Pötzsch keeps the action boiling, the clues intriguing, and the history fascinating and authentic."
—William Dietrich, author of The Emerald Storm

"Pötzsch does an excellent job of plunking the reader down in seventeenth-century Germany ... Readers will also appreciate the nice balance between drama, suspense, and humor: this is a serious story, Pötzsch seems to be saying, but it’s OK to have some fun with it. At least two more books in the series are forthcoming, and they will be most welcome."



1660: Winter has settled thick over a sleepy village in the Bavarian Alps, ensuring every farmer and servant is indoors on the night a parish priest discovers he's been poisoned. As numbness creeps up his body, he summons the last of his strength to scratch a cryptic sign in the frost.

Following a trail of riddles, hangman Jakob Kuisl, his headstrong daughter, Magdalena, and the town physician’s son team up with the priest’s aristocratic sister to investigate. What they uncover will lead them back to the Crusades, unlocking a troubled history of internal church politics and sending them on a chase for a treasure of the Knights Templar.

But they’re not the only ones after the legendary fortune. A team of dangerous and mysterious monks is always close behind, tracking their every move, speaking Latin in the shadows, giving off a strange, intoxicating scent. And to throw the hangman off their trail, they have ensured he is tasked with capturing a band of thieves roving the countryside attacking solitary travellers and spreading panic.

Delivering on the promise of the international bestseller The Hangman’s Daughter, Oliver Pötzsch takes us on a whirlwind tour through the occult hiding places of Bavaria’s ancient monasteries. Once again based on prodigious historical research into Pötzsch’s family tree, The Dark Monk brings to life an unforgettable, compassionate hangman and his tenacious daughter, painting a robust tableau of a seventeenth-century Bavaria and quickening our pulses with a gripping, mesmerizing mystery.

British English Edition localized for UK readers.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 996 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 514 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 1611090830
  • Verlag: AmazonCrossing (12. Juni 2012)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B007PVLIL2
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.3 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (3 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #77.353 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Mehr über den Autor

Seine blutige Familiengeschichte beschäftigt Oliver Pötzsch, Jahrgang 1970, bereits seit der Kindheit. Bei seinen Recherchen stieß er auf die Folterwerkzeuge seiner Ahnen und einen Meisterbrief, der seinem Vorfahren eine 'besondere Kunstfertigkeit beim Köpfen' bescheinigt. Er fand außerdem heraus, dass das Richtschwert der Familie in den 70ern des letzten Jahrhunderts aus einem Heimatmuseum gestohlen wurde und seitdem verschollen ist. Sein 2008 erschienener Roman "Die Henkerstochter" wurde für den Friedrich-Glauser-Preis nominiert. Der Autor arbeitet für den Bayrischen Rundfunk und lebt in München.

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3 Sterne
2 Sterne
1 Sterne
4.3 von 5 Sternen
4.3 von 5 Sternen
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen
4.0 von 5 Sternen Spannender Nachfolger 2. Juli 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
2. Teil um Kuisl und seine Tochter Magdalena, die sich wieder in eine missliche Lage bringt, Simon dem Doktersohn, der allerdings diesmal nicht nur Magdalena schöne Augen macht und bigotte und fiese Mönche. Die jammerige und unheldenhafte Figur des Simon ging mir dieses Mal auf die Nerven. Auch hätte ich vom Henker selver gern mehr gelesen. Trotzdem . War es eine unterhaltsame Geschichte!
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4.0 von 5 Sternen a good read! 29. Juni 2013
Von Gabritems
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
a wonderful follow up to Poetzsch first novel! The Dark monk is a real page turner (if you enjoyed the first novel in the series).
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5.0 von 5 Sternen lohnend 20. Februar 2013
Von K.
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
sehr schönes buch, spannend, lokalkolorit, englische übersetzung sehr gelungen, guter 2. teil zur "hangmans daughter", werde mir dritten teil auch holen
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.2 von 5 Sternen  1.136 Rezensionen
149 von 160 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Brilliantly Crafted Story! 27. März 2012
Von MommaMia - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Oliver Potzsch is by far one of the finest storytellers of our time. The Dark Monk is a fantastic follow up to The Hangman's Daughter. Again, he brings the world of Jakob Kuisl, the hangman of Schongau, vividly to life.

His characters are well crafted, the story is a maze of mystery and intrigue with a dash of romance. I adore Magdalena, Jakob's daughter. She is a passionate, intelligent woman who I admire for her strength of character. Her lover Simon, the town doctor, is certainly a more interesting character because of her presence in his life. If not for her, he'd be just another small town doctor who cares far too much for his appearance. She gives him depth, and he gives her an ounce of respectability, which is virtually impossible for a woman in her social position in that time period. Being the daughter of the hangman was certainly a fact that made people fear her, and gave her little options in life. Her relationship with Simon really mixes things up a bit in this story, especially when the beautiful Benedikta Koppmeyer arrives in town.

This story centers on the murder of a priest, and the confounding clues he leaves behind. We are swept into the world of the Knights Templar, their secrets and mysteries that have made them so fascinating throughout history, are laid bare here, and are center stage in this well crafted tale.

I look forward to further installments in the Hangman's Daughter series. Thank you Mr. Potzsch, for creating these fascinating characters!

This is truly a 5-star success!
126 von 139 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen A fun but not convincing tale 18. April 2012
Von loce_the_wizard - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Oliver Pötzsch used the motif of the mystery novel and applies it to "The Dark Monk: A Hangman's Daughter Tale," set in 1660. It's winter with a capital "W" in the Bavarian Alps. The story takes us and his characters from village to village with excursions through the countryside and to a series of monasteries.

The plot is set in motion when a poisoned priest uses his dying wits and strength to leave a clue that proves a gateway into a bigger mystery, drawing in the stalwart trio of hangman, executioner, and healer Jakob Kuisl; his somewhat stubborn but attractive daughter Magdalena; and the town physician's son who is a bit of a dandy but smart as a whip, Simon. But while this mystery is the story's center, other events are also crucial, chiefly, a group robbers are preying on travelers, particularly merchants and their cargos, and a deadly illness is killing many of the villagers.

Along with the murdered priest's sister, this group follows a trail of various clues and riddles, each leading to more answers and more questions. Tracking this core group is a trio of murderous monks (not sure which one is actually the dark monk of the title), various church leaders, and another trio of soldiers-for-hire. As you might imagine, murder, mayhem, kidnapping, and so forth ensue.

The story seems as though the scenes were staged for a play or graphic novel with characters tripping over each other in unexpectedly places. I thought that the plot and resolution hinged on a series of increasingly unlikely coincidences playing out and bringing the characters back together in, for me, an ultimately unsatisfactory resolution. In other words, my "willing suspension of disbelief" could only go so far before I felt like the author was winking at me instead of making the story really resolve itself.

I thought "The Dark Monk: A Hangman's Daughter Tale" was a fun but not convincing tale. The characters seemed a bit cartoonish to me, the settings a bit too sketchy, and the plot a bit too twisted.
74 von 82 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Fun and addictive to read 26. April 2012
Von S. G. - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
When I read some of the reviews of the first book in this series (The Hangman's Daughter) I was both intrigued and worried. It sounded like an interesting period to set a mystery-type series, but some of the reviewers seemed to think the book was both anachronistic and ahistorical in certain ways. That may have been true of the first book (I can't say, as I haven't yet read it) but it certainly isn't true of this one.

I found The Dark Monk to be fast-paced and interesting without sacrificing the feel of the era in which the story is set. The pace of actual events may take place at 17th century speed, but the interactions and descriptions of the various character's mental workings was very well-written and entertaining. The book has several interesting characters and you get to hear the story from their point of view in different chapters. The main characters are Jakob (the hangman), Magdalena (his daughter) and Simon (what passes for a doctor in the 17th century).

Jakob is the kind of iconoclastic detective I'm a real sucker for. He is going to do things his own way and ultimately will rely chiefly on his own counsel, even though he allows Simon and Magdalena brief glimpses into what is going on in his head.

Simon is the kind of character who you alternately like, pity, despise, and then like again. He can be vain and flawed, but he also realizes his short comings and exhibits humanity during a period of time when people had to scratch and claw 24/7 just to keep going.

Magdalena alternates between fierce pride that she is the hangman's daughter and dangerous despair that her position in her village will prevent her from having what she wants in life-- namely, Simon.

The murder is grisly enough and the intrigue is fun and involves Templar Knights-- what could be better than Templars and treasure?!

I laughed out loud several times and really enjoyed the voice the author employs when writing as Jakob. The humor is dry and sophisticated while still maintaining an earthy tone.

Is it likely that these type of folks would have books (exceedingly rare for even those in the highest of social circles) and have the leisure and ability to actually read them? The writing is so good that I can stretch disbelief far enough to believe it. I also believe the humor and slang in the book are representative of the time. "The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel," was written over 100 years earlier than the time this book is supposed to be set and it contains similar bawdy and sly humor.

I loved this book and I will be buying the first book in this series. If you enjoy the murder mystery genre and have books by authors like Cruz-Smith, Nesbo, and Chandler on your shelf I think you will like this one, too.
33 von 36 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Disappointing sequel 14. Juni 2012
Von N. Boer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
I quite enjoyed "The Hangman's Daughter" last year, and as such, I thought I'd give "The Dark Monk" a shot. I was very disappointed though - in pacing, plot, and characterization, this simply does not live up to its predecessor.

Positive: Like "The Hangman's Daughter," "The Dark Monk" is meticulously researched, and the historical periodization makes it an intriguing read about a rather dark and unknown time and place (17th century Bavaria).

1. Poetzsch overstresses the oddities of this period - one has to read not once, not twice, but literally 5 times about the ostracizing of hangmen and their families and how the society depended on them but wouldn't openly acknowledge them.

2. Language: This is probably both a translation issue (the novel is originally written in German, and I wish there were a Kindle edition of the German) and a bad writing issue. Too many exclamation marks (makes the writer sound like an overexcited teenager), repetition of phrases, proliferation of cliches, the use of the word "dastardly" (what? no-one seriously talks about a "dastardly crime"!). All of which can be summed up by quoting the following sentence: "That would probably mean certain death for her" (page 240). This is the point at which I gave up on the writer/translator (if this is all due to a bad translation, this probably means certain unemployment for someone).

3. Plot: There is no urgency about solving the mystery (clues supposedly leading to a treasure hidden by the Knights Templar), so one doesn't really get carried away. The solution is reached through a staggering number of coincidences (people leaning against the right statue, falling from a tree and just happening to land on the right branch, etc.), whilst the identity of the Dastardly Master-criminal is pretty obviously revealed about 1/4 of the way in, and thus is neither really a surprise nor does anyone care since he has such a small role in the novel. The only interesting twist is in the sub-plot, "The Mystery of the High-Way Robbers" (and yes, the phrase "high-way robbery" is frequently invoked), which the hangman himself pursues.

4. Characterization: Having 4 protagonists/detectives really strains the ability of the reader to care about any of them - I had no sympathy for the romance between the hangman's daughter and Simon (and, in fact, was rooting for them to break up since they're both total idiots), the hangman's daughter (supposedly the main protagonist) spends most of the novel in a hysterical jealous huff, and her love interest, Simon, is a short, rather silly, and incredibly obtuse (based on how long it takes him to solve these mysteries) dandy who cares more about his clothes than, well, pretty much anything else. The hangman is cool, I liked him - the only sensible character in the novel.

This definitely does not live up to "The Hangman's Daughter," which I remember as being an engaging page-turner with believable, reasonably deep characters and an interesting historical setting. All that is left of that in the sequel is the historical setting.
7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen THE DARK MONK certainly will appeal to lovers of historical fiction 18. Juni 2012
Von Bookreporter - Veröffentlicht auf
In the middle of the winter in a small village in the Bavarian Alps, a parish priest unearths an amazing discovery during renovation of his church. Realizing the significance of the long-buried secret, the dutiful priest sends a dispatch informing his superiors of his finding. When his letter falls into the wrong hands, a gang of dark strangers with evil intent descends upon the village.

On a dark winter night, Father Koppmeyer is poisoned and dies. Schongau's diminutive medic, Simon Fronwieser, is called to investigate. It doesn't take long for him to determine that the cleric has been murdered. To track down the killer, Simon solicits help from the much-feared but surprisingly compassionate hangman, Jakob Kuisl, and Kuisl's attractive, but fiercely independent daughter, Magdalena. Their hunt intensifies when the late priest's sister, Benedikta, arrives on the scene and demands to find out what who is responsible for her brother's death.

In the course of their investigation, the team discovers clues and riddles that lead them to dark days in the Catholic Church's history --- to the times of the Crusades --- and a treasure hidden by the outlawed Knights Templar. To throw the hangman off his pursuit and thwart his progress in tracking down the real murderer, a city official assigns him to round up roving gangs of desperate and starving robbers hiding in the woods. Meanwhile, lurking in the shadows, a secretive and treacherous group of zealots follows Simon and Benedikta with the intent of preventing them from taking possession of the treasure.

THE DARK MONK, the follow-up to Oliver Pötzsch's THE HANGMAN'S DAUGHTER, has all the elements of a compelling story --- a fascinating setting, rich historical events, dark secrets and intrigue. (An interesting fact: Kuisl is based on an ancestor of Pötzsch.) While the time period and historical details undoubtedly have been carefully researched, some awkward translations, along with a huge cast of characters, slow down the action. For example, a 17th-century European woman referring to herself in dialogue as a "businessperson" detracts from the story's authenticity. Moreover, it is difficult to keep track of the characters, when even the lesser ones are given full names and some names are similar or the same: Magda, Magdalena, Martha, Maria, two Michaels, two Jakobs.

Despite these distractions, THE DARK MONK certainly will appeal to lovers of historical fiction peppered with mystery and suspense, as well as readers interested in a dark period of European history.

Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt
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