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The Witch Elm
by Tana French




Overview -
Named a New York Times Notable Book of 2018 and a Best Book of 2018 by NPR, The New York Times Book Review, Amazon, The Boston Globe, LitHub, Vulture, Slate, Elle, Vox, and Electric Literature

"Tana French's best and most intricately nuanced novel yet." --The New York Times

An "extraordinary" (Stephen King) and "mesmerizing" (LA Times) new standalone novel from the master of crime and suspense and author of the forthcoming novel The Searcher.

From the writer who "inspires cultic devotion in readers" (The New Yorker) and has been called "incandescent" by Stephen King, "absolutely mesmerizing" by Gillian Flynn, and "unputdownable" (People) comes a gripping new novel that turns a crime story inside out.

Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who's dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life--he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family's ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden--and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed.

A spellbinding standalone from one of the best suspense writers working today, The Witch Elm asks what we become, and what we're capable of, when we no longer know who we are.

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More About The Witch Elm by Tana French

 
 
 

Overview

Named a New York Times Notable Book of 2018 and a Best Book of 2018 by NPR, The New York Times Book Review, Amazon, The Boston Globe, LitHub, Vulture, Slate, Elle, Vox, and Electric Literature

"Tana French's best and most intricately nuanced novel yet." --The New York Times

An "extraordinary" (Stephen King) and "mesmerizing" (LA Times) new standalone novel from the master of crime and suspense and author of the forthcoming novel The Searcher.

From the writer who "inspires cultic devotion in readers" (The New Yorker) and has been called "incandescent" by Stephen King, "absolutely mesmerizing" by Gillian Flynn, and "unputdownable" (People) comes a gripping new novel that turns a crime story inside out.

Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who's dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life--he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family's ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden--and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed.

A spellbinding standalone from one of the best suspense writers working today, The Witch Elm asks what we become, and what we're capable of, when we no longer know who we are.

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735224629
  • ISBN-10: 0735224625
  • Publisher: Viking
  • Publish Date: October 2018
  • Page Count: 528
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.7 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

The Witch Elm

With cunning psychological prowess, Tana French’s first standalone crime novel after six Dublin Murder Squad mysteries plumbs the recesses of our darkest thoughts.

In Dublin, on an almost-Halloween evening, Toby Hennessy, his girlfriend and his cousins are hanging out at Ivy House, Uncle Hugo’s grand abode, asking each other, “What’s the worst thing you ever did?” The game is a way of tiptoeing around how each of them may be connected to the discovery of a skull in the wych elm tree in the Ivy House garden.

The macabre discovery is not the only recent misfortune in the Hennessy family. Uncle Hugo has a brain tumor, and Toby nearly dies when he’s attacked in his flat, possibly in connection to a scandal at the art gallery where he works. The plot surrounding the skull comes into focus through Toby’s murky lens of pain, frustration and the medications required after this tragic combination of events. Toby has always been lucky, a handsome charmer who can talk his way out of scrapes and befriend just about anyone. But who is he if his luck has run out?

French rips open the chasm between Toby’s before and after, viscerally describing his fear as “dark, misshapen, taloned, hanging somewhere above and behind me waiting for its next moment to drop onto my back and dig in deep.” Add to Toby’s troubles his worried girlfriend and sensitive, conniving cousins, and it becomes apparent that The Witch Elm is about more than the crime behind the skull; it is about what happens when a great upheaval cracks open life’s shell and reveals one’s true potential.

With this thorough search into the criminal mind, French reaffirms her place as one of our finest crime novelists. Her characters become as familiar as family yet as unpredictable as strangers, creating a chilling sense that everything could shift at any time.

 

This article was originally published in the October 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 

BAM Customer Reviews