Top critical review
A mostly enjoyable read, but major disappointment after six other books in the series!
Reviewed in the United States on January 3, 2021
Having read, and generally enjoyed the whole Hangman's Daughter series, I found this one to be the worst of the lot, or tied for worst with the first book. For some unaccountable reason, he increased the profanity by at least treble! While all of his books have a fair (and likely amount given the extreme situations), the characters in this story rarely spoke without G**D***, J****C*****, etc... While expletives are to be expected , the choices and usage made the characters seem very modern and trendy; not like 1670's Bavaria.
On the same note, the author can only seem to write extremely modern, hot-headed, women who speak, think, and act like spoiled Millenials. This seems very unlikely to be accurate for that era and culture. It is also funny to note, that even though the author mentions breasts (big, firm, etc...) many, many times, when it comes to Magdalena breastfeeding her baby, he is too squeamish to use the word "nursing" and opts for "feeding". Perhaps it is the fault of the translator, but this seems like a heinous middle school mindset. The basic and wonderful function of breasts is to nourish babies, oogling and fondling are just the perks.
(Vague Spoiler alert):
The mystery IS deep, and I didn't catch on til intended, but I was rather aghast at the careful crafting to make every person opposed to abortion sympathize with a sick , murderous, lunatic. I understand such has gone on for a long time (and for much more significant reasons than today like convenience and indulgence) but after the long, nasty war they had with the Swedes, their population was drastically depleted. Every tragic event I have ever heard of spurs an increase in birthrate across the board (including 9/11, which killed relatively few). I know times may have turned "prudish" but society has a way of turning a blind eye if your civilization is desperate for more people. Obviously, any reasonable person would not wish death to a woman who has chosen abortion, as three wrongs don't make a right any more than two. But, it is strange to note that the author doesn't consider stabbing a fetus with a needle til it dies of puncture wounds and then discharged in a bloody mess that endangers the life of the mother is somehow less gruesome and ghastly than the other awful murders described in his book.
And one final note: though we all enjoy happy endings, when a sensitive, Bavarian Backstreet Boy falls madly in love with Barbara and then she conveniently miscarries her baby, the story takes a sudden cheesy and flat turn. It would have been far more profound and seemed more real if she and her fiance decided to keep the baby to raise.
If you enjoyed the other books, you will probably get a kick out of this one , too, but be prepared for modern characters, modern agendas, and a final note that says the USA harbors nasty villains who believe that babies ,inside our outside of a stomach, are people. Imagine! Luckily, Germany has a spotless history of humanity.