The Witch Elm by Tana French
Tana French has done it again. Even though The Witch Elm isn’t part of the Dublin Murder Squad series, it’s just as good.
Publisher’s Description: 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.
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
Agent Annie says…
Tana French’s protagonist, Toby, experiences a severe beating and the resulting mental and physical anguish he goes through is so realistic, it seems as if the author has experienced something similar first hand. I also really enjoyed all the secondary characters, particularly Uncle Hugo. He is such a delight and really seemed to prevent Toby from derailing completely. Reading this book was like being part of Toby’s family and I felt as if I was participating in the complicated relationships.
As the characters are asked to remember their teen years, I found it absolutely believable that each of the three cousins remembered things very differently and that those very different memories were at the root of the mystery.
I give this book 5 stars and highly recommend everything Tana French has written.