Inspired by the Dublin Murders series on TV recently, I went on a short Tana French binge during the holidays. While I appreciated the first two books of the Dublin Murder Squad Series, upon which the TV show is based, I found myself inexplicably addicted to her standalone novel, The Witch Elm.
Unlike the Dublin series, which centers around detectives in Dublin and their casework and personal lives, The Witch Elm centers around social media publicist Toby, who for the first time in his life finds himself at a disadvantage after he is beaten badly during a burglary in his home.
A dying uncle draws him to his family’s ancestral home, where he and his cousins spent the summers as children and teens. All is normal on the homefront until a skull is discovered in the wych tree in the back garden, and things begin to fall apart around Toby.
How well did Toby know his friends and family growing up? His head injuries prevent him from having real clarity on his own memories of growing up. Whose body is in the tree and how did it get there? And why does everyone seem to be pointing their fingers at him when the police begin to suspect foul play?
The Witch Elm is a psychological suspense thriller which leaves you guessing until the very end about every character, including the narrator. If you like psychological thrillers, you will love this novel. This reviewer couldn’t put it down!