This book was really out of character for me to read. I was drawn in by the historical fiction aspect, which is all that got me past the fact that this is a mystery/thriller -- genres which I normally lack the patience to read and enjoy.
This is a translation, and I personally thought it was very well done. There was only one time in my reading that I thought, "I think that XXXX was the word they really meant to use instead of YYYY."
As for the story, it's captivating. The history of it deals with it's location in Bavaria and the duties and families of hangmen. But what makes this book fascinating is the action that the hangman, Jakob Kuisl, takes to save a supposed criminal and out the right person to save the town. He works with the young town physician, who is in love with Jakob's daughter, Magdalena. Magdalena is a strong character in her own right, but is by no means the main character.
The inward struggles of characters in this story are what give it so much life, and what made me stay up until almost 3am today to finish it. I would definitely recommend this one!