Tana French is one of those authors that has you at hello. Her books suck you in and and don’t let go until the last word is read. The Witch Elm is no exception. While it isn’t her strongest work (The Secret Place and The Likeness are still my faves), The Witch Elm is certainly entertaining enough to peak my interest. I might be biased though as she tends to used some of my favorite words. Illusory. Prognosticate. Vertiginous. The list goes on.
The story is complex. Toby, the protagonist, finds himself the victim of an burglary gone wrong and it leaves him with lasting injuries. Then his is asked to move in with his sick uncle to watch over him in a house that has been handed down from family member to family member. A dead body is found in the elm tree in the back garden. An investigation ensues. The dead body might be related to the burglary. Family members point fingers. Like I said, a complex story with good characters.
The ending is a bit of a shock – one I didn’t see coming. I won’t spoil it for you, but this is an excellent stand alone novel from Tana French. Her previous works have been a series of mysteries told from the perspectives of Irish detectives. The Witch Elm was a welcome change and told from the victims perspective. If you haven’t read her other novels and want to, start with In The Woods. It was the first in the series.