ExperiencePlus! traveler Jeff Berger reviews the third novel in the Hangman’s Daughter series.
The newly released third novel in the series, The Beggar King, finds the Hangman Jacob Kuisl, in Regensburg, coincidentally the starting place for the Experience Plus! Bicycling the Danube trips. (Or has the author been paid to set his stories along Experience Plus! bike routes?) Kuisl has been called to Regensburg to aid his sick sister, only to find that both his sister and brother-in-law have been killed and he is the prime suspect. He is promptly arrested and (ironically) tortured by the Regensburg hangman. His daughter and her boyfriend follow Kuisl to Regensburg and while trying to find evidence to clear his name, are accused as arsonists and have to hide out in order to avoid arrest, while at the same time continuing their search for exonerating evidence. Friends turn out to be enemies and enemies turn out to be friends, as the plot winds its way in typical convoluted fashion to the inevitable unexpected (or expected, if you are a fan of this genre) ending. As an afterward, the author provides tourist information about contemporary Regensburg and even a walking tour of all the places mentioned in the novel. Pötzsch even declares Regensburg to be his favorite city in Germany. (Maybe he’s being paid by the Bavarian Tourist Board.) The locations in the book are based on historical research and many of the sites still exist, with some, including the torture chamber, being turned into museums. Many of the Regensburgers who appear in the story (as well as the Italian Ambassador) are based on real historical figures. The series has proved so successful (and lucrative) in Germany and in translation that the author has decided to turn it into an industry, with a 4th installment, The Warlock, on the way.
Check out Jeff’s reviews of the first two books in the series: The Hangman’s Daughter and the sequel The Dark Monk.