Titles, second to covers, are what interest me (completely against the non-judgmental mindset I try to adopt), and what applies to this novel. Sadly, everything else that should apply, such as great story told by infusing unforgettable plot, style, and dozens of other aspects, does not. ‘The Hangman’s Daughter’ implies action, the supernatural and witches set in the 17th century, envisioning something akin to ‘Van Helsing,’ but rather results in a bland, prolonged, and anti-climatic tale.
And the sad thing about it is this novel had potential, enough that it sucked me in, but it is dragged down by all its downfalls.
The 12th of October was a good day for a killing.
Pötzsch does pay attention to detail, most likely one of the few reasons I hauled myself through this book, but it is as though it pays attention to the wrong things. I expected descriptions of witches and dark magic, demons and terrifying bodies of darkness, but neither makes much of an appearance. It focuses on the concept than actually playing an active part.
Which dampens the plot itself; that, other than above, is also what kept me going. A hangman, caught in the middle of this dark force that sweeps over a village, murdering orphaned children. Initially that alone paints an interesting picture, but paired with the lack of execution and the length borderline excessive, slowly pulled me away.
Life went on, despite all the dying.
The chapters excel 20 pages, making it tedious and that much more difficult to read. As the distinction between characters slowly merged into a big, one-dimensional blur, skim-reading to the end became the sole option; frankly not the best one, since I didn’t come to fully understand how it ended. Sitting through the build-up of an average story, clinging to the hope that it will get better, and finally crawls to a disappointing end, is the tip of the iceberg.
Perhaps if things are different, with the witches and supernatural action than concept, or characters not weighed down by lengthy scenes, then generally this might have been an enjoyable experience. That isn’t to say it is a terrible book, but does not suit my tastes.
‘The Hangman’s Daughter’ is a novel which some can try, but do not be deceived by what is on the blurb, and what is within the pages.