Book cover from The Witch Elm: A Novel by Tana French
Book cover 'The Witch Elm: A Novel'

The Witch Elm: A Novel

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Author(s): Tana French
Format: Book › Hardcover all formats
Edition: First Edition
Published: 10-09-2018
ISBN: 9780735224629
Pages: 528
Publisher: Viking
List Price: $28.00

Book description

Named a New York Times Notable Book of 2018

“French’s best book. . . Her most intricately nuanced novel yet.” —The New York Times

A brilliant new work of suspense from "the most important crime novelist to emerge in the past 10 years" (Washington Post) and an excellent holiday gift.

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.

Book review

An Amazon Best Book of October 2018: Unlike Tana French's earlier novels, The Witch Elm is narrated not by a Dublin Murder Squad detective, but rather by Toby, a charming young man who always seems to have luck on his side. Toby’s life is forever altered after a home invasion at his apartment leaves him brutally beaten, his future uncertain. Who would do this to him, and why? That appears to be the story French is going to tell, but while Toby is convalescing at the family’s ancestral home a human skull is discovered. The identity of the deceased leads back to a long-ago summer when Toby and his cousins lived at the house—and a whole new mystery begins to unfold. How well do we really know those closest to us? Or even ourselves? These are questions that French elegantly poses in The Witch Elm, and the answers are not as obvious as they might seem. Tana French’s first standalone mystery is a twisty delight for existing fans. It is also the perfect book for newcomers to discover one of fiction’s best crime writers. —Seira Wilson, Amazon Book Review

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