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The witch elm
2018
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Summary
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

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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Booklist Review
*Starred Review* French, author of the award-winning Dublin Murder Squad series, delivers a spellbinding stand-alone novel carefully crafted in her unique, darkly elegant prose style, which Stephen King has called incandescent. Toby Hennessy always considered himself a lucky guy, trading on his considerable charm for a successful life, until he has the misfortune to surprise two burglars in his flat. He is beaten and left for dead, and after a less-than-successful recovery, he agrees to care for his dying uncle, Hugo, at the family's ancestral home while working on regaining his own cognitive and motor skills. When a skull is found in the trunk of an ancient tree in the garden, his dysfunctional brain struggles to reassess the past, evidently not what it once seemed and now abounding in million-euro questions. Issues of identity permeate the narrative. Toby's previous forays using fake social-media accounts become an issue for the police. Welcome comic relief comes via Hugo's genealogy investigation service, now in high gear because of Americans confounded by their Irish DNA test results. Toby finds himself wondering how much he had ever really known about his family, now so disconcerted that their misery is like some rampaging animal, and the reader gets pulled into the vortex right along with them. As Oscar Wilde wrote, The truth is rarely pure and never simple.--Jane Murphy Copyright 2018 Booklist
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