The Dark Monk is the second book in Hangman’s Daughter, the million-copy bestselling series.
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 travelers 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 seventeenth-century Bavaria and quickening our pulses with a gripping, mesmerizing mystery.
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"For some reason I just loved this book! It was fresh and original for me. Now I don't think the writing is all that amazingly lyrical or anything....I really think it was the setting that I liked. Some of the main characters are the Hangman, the Hangman's Daughter, the Medicus, and a great many priests. The mystery is set in 1600s Bavaria. Maybe part of the attraction for me is also that I have a couple of lines of my family who are from Bavaria too. See, the author, Oliver Potzsch, has done some of his genealogy and he is actually descended from this line of notorious hangmen, the Kuisls. So in his stories, central characters are the hangman and his daughter, also of that name. I love that whole idea and find it very inspirational. Maybe I will do something like that someday with one of my lines. How about the Christnacht one? :) (This means Christmas Eve in German, but what we don't know is why the family was named after Christmas Eve!) Anyway,I must read the other two that have been translated soon."
Cathy (5 out of 5 stars)