The Witch Elm: A Novel

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An unforgettable tale about love, life, and the moral compass. Toby Hennessy has led a fairly easy life up until now. He works for a small art gallery, and his boss, Richard, adores him and treats him like a son. One night, Toby goes home after drinks with friends at a local bar. While in bed, he hears noises in his apartment and goes to see what the commotion is all about. What happens next sends Toby into a string of unfortunate events. The intruders are burglars who beat Toby into a pulp. As the story unravels, Toby decides to temporarily live with his Uncle Hugo at what is known as the Ivy House. Hugo is dying of brain cancer. The Ivy House is his family’s home where Hugo and his brothers and their wives and children all came to gather. During his childhood, Toby and his cousins Susanna and Leon would run rampant while their parents were away on vacation, and they were left under Uncle Hugo’s care. One day, when Susanna, her husband, Tom, and their two children, Zach and Sallie, are over for lunch, Hugo tells the cousins that he wants to speak with them privately. He sends the children outside to the garden to play and tells Zach to go find the treasure out back. Suddenly, there is a loud scream. Zach had climbed the large witch elm only to find a human skull in it. Chaos ensues and before you know it, everyone is a suspect.

This book was a little slow to start because there was a lot of history that was told about Toby and his family. Once the skull was found, I found the story to read very quickly. The characters were all so intricate, and the bond between Toby, Susanna, and Leon and their bond with Hugo was simply heartwarming. I found the whodunnit part of this book very difficult to guess. The book was well written, with excellent attention to the smallest of details. From the smell of the hospital to the interactions each character had with one another, it was easy to picture each scene and become enveloped in what was happening. A surefire recommendation to anyone who loves a great suspense novel.

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Reviewed By:

Author Tana French
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 464 pages
Publisher Viking
Publish Date 2018-Oct-09
ISBN 9780735224629
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue October 2018
Category Mystery, Crime & Thriller
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