( Read E-pub ) Î The Witch Elm ⚣ eBook or Kindle ePUB free
( Read E-pub ) Á The Witch Elm á 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. Touch Not the Cat beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again The Charmer’s Box 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 The Charmer’s Box: Poetry 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 Red Roots (Vampire Empire, The Witch Elm asks what we become What to Do Until Love Finds You: The Bestselling Guide to Preparing Yourself for Your Perfect Mate and what we re capable of Rizal Beyond the Grave: A Reiteration of the Greatness of the Martyr of Bagumbayan when we no longer know who we are. The setting is an important part of this story an old family house outside of Dublin, nicknamed Ivy House, where two generations ago a whole crowd of brothers and sisters grew up and then their children came for summers, weekends and holidays It s now occupied only by the oldest unmarried uncle, slowing dying of a brain tumor The real mystery begins halfway through the book when a skull is found in a tree cavity by one of the grandkids But perhaps the mystery started much earlier in the book, when the main character, a PR guy for an art gallery, was severely beaten during a robbery so severely that he is taking than a year to recover with physical disabilities and long and short term memory problems During recovery he goes to live with the dying uncle so they can kind of take care of each other Two of his cousins visit and stay over almost every weekend It turns out the skull belongs to a male classmate of the children The classmate disappeared twenty or so years ago and at that time everyone thought he had killed himself by jumping off a cliff Now the police are circling round and, based on their investigation, they feel that it must be one of the four who killed him the main character the female cousin, married with two kids the male cousin, gay, and taking a break from his partner in Germany, or the uncle The police focus in on the main character Of course, with his memory problems, he gets to the point where he thinks MAYBE IT WAS ME and I just don t remember, and my family isn t going to tell me just so I can give myself away to the police Little by little as they talk night after night, police visit after police visit, we see that a case could be made for any of the four or perhaps any two acting together.There s a lot of very good writing I recall thinking early in the book, in the passages about the main character s group of buddies at a bar on the edge of drunkenness an incident at his work, and the break in at his apartment all this is very well written There s occasional humor While the main character recovers in the hospital, his mother brings him so many things that random stuff was popping up on every available surface through spontaneous generation and sooner or later the nurses would find me buried under a heap of cupcakes and an accordion So it s a good read but in my opinion has a flaw too dragged out at the end By the middle of the 500 page book, almost every scene is discussion of the murder around the table with the cousins Night after night they make a fire, have dinner and wine, wait to be sure the uncle doesn t stumble up the stairs or drop his wine, and then they go over it again and again A bit much otherwise I would have given it a 5, so a 4.5 The author b 1973 is Irish and American As a child, her family lived all over the world and she was born in the US, but she went to university in Ireland, married there, and makes her home in Dublin Because of her series of best selling crime novels she has been called the First Lady of Irish Crime She also is a well known actress in Irish theater As an aside, it would be fun to make a list of novels where the house is so important to the story that it is essentially a character Off the top of my head I think of Sabato s On Heroes and Tombs set in an old decrepit mansion in in Buenos Aires, and Hatoum s A Tale of a Certain Orient set in Manaus, Brazil Even Virginia Woolf s house in To the Lighthouse might qualify or the beach house in Iris Murdoch s The Sea, The Sea.A house in Dublin from artprintimages.comGrafton Street, Dublin from postmediavancouversun2.files.wordpress.comPhoto of the author from irishamerica.com I actually didn t love a Tana French book the world is broken I just knew I jinxed it by writing that first paragraph in my review of The Secret Place.I keep trying to convince myself to bump this up a star because it s hard to believe Tana French can write anything that isn t amazing It s definitely not a bad book, but The Witch Elm French s first standalone outside of her Dublin Murder Squad series just didn t contain a lot of the stuff I ve loved from this author.To start with, I feel like my love for French is centred around her awesome, snarky, flawed, messy, human detectives The crimes are whatever the detectives their voices, quirks, passions and personal histories are what make her books so damn addictive I shipped Rob and Cassie so hard in In the Woods, and Cassie herself made the implausible plot of The Likeness actually okay I will probably never get over Frank and Rosie from Faithful Place And that s before we ve got to Kennedy, Moran and the ferocious Antoinette Conway.Toby He just doesn t compare He s an asshole, but it s not that because sometimes assholes can be interesting I might want to rewrite that sentence later It s that he s obnoxiously clueless, a self proclaimed lucky bastard wrapped in a bubble of his own privilege He s tall, blond and handsome, works at a PR firm, has a loving girlfriend and a group of good friends, and pretty much gets away with everything He s a person who thinks this about poor, homeless people They could have gone to school Instead of spending their time sniffing glue and breaking the wing mirrors off cars They could have got jobs The recession s over there s no reason for anyone to be stuck in the muck unless they actually choose to be Flaws are interesting, but Toby s casual misogyny, judgement of others, and condescension make him extremely irritating Plus, French s narrators are typically smart and intuitive, so Toby s head scratching was frustrating.I think I can trace a lot of my issues back to Toby For example, I usually enjoy the long winded nature of Tana French s books She can get away with waffling on because I genuinely enjoy learning details about the characters, and listening to them have pages of dialogue about something unrelated to the plot But I was so uninterested in Toby that huge chunks of this book made me want to go to sleep.It takes so long to get to the main mystery, too I get the point of the lengthy build up in order to understand Toby as a character someone who has been handed everything in life without having to face the struggles others would have, and someone who cannot believe it when he meets his first misfortune but that didn t make it any enjoyable to get through It s a good hundred pages before the main story even rears its head.I also can t deny that I miss the exciting investigations and police procedure the detectives usually take us through.But I don t want this to get too negative French does a lot of excellent things in this book and she digs into something interesting with Toby how someone s luck, privilege, whatever you want to call it can really affect not just a person s physical circumstances but their entire outlook on life He s a conceptually fascinating individual, but it was so hard to find sympathy for him It was this, in the end, that made me unable to care who the murderer was.Blog 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2 and 4 stars If I could give this a dual rating, I would Explanation of rating I had 5 star expectations for The Witch Elm Tana French is one of my favorite authors and while I haven t loved all of her books, I really enjoyed the most recent installments of the Murder Squad series Unfortunately, my expectations were not met There were parts of the Witch Elm that I loved, but others not so much It s hard to describe The Witch Elm it s part mystery, part thriller, part family drama Primarily, it is a psychological character study Toby has had all the luck in the world He has natural good looks and things come easily to him his jobs, his friends, and his girlfriend He comes from a loving upper class Dublin family, who can offer financial support when needed Needless to say, Toby hasn t faced many struggles in his young life, until one night when his luck runs out and his life changes forever The Witch Elm chronicles Toby s decline from golden boy to an empty shell of a man Toby is the primary unreliable narrator I enjoyed getting inside of his head I was riveted for about the first 20% Toby s voice is charismatic and I couldn t wait to hear and learn about him But then NOTHING happens for quite some time Yes, the reader learns details about Toby s family and his current struggles, but these parts could have been edited down quite a bit What bothered me was not that there wasn t much happening and the amount of information provided seemed superfluous This is a repeated pattern throughout the book drama nothing drama nothing drama It seems purposefully done to fully give the reader a full view of Toby s mental decline, but I feel like the same impact could have been achieved without a full on recap of every minute of Toby s life If you are a reader who does not like reading every minute detail about a character s life, you might struggle with this book On the other hand, there are elements of this novel that are fascinating Tana French certainly knows how to write a sentence her characters are finely crafted and well developed The setting is multidimensional and takes on a life of its own I really enjoyed the ending and having the opportunity to witness a complete view of Toby s transformation While this didn t wholly work for me, I would still recommend for those who enjoy unreliable narrators and detailed character studies I received an ARC of this book from Edelweiss and Penguin Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. after languishing for months who knows where, my review is finally up at LARB you celebrate christmas, read it in line as you last minute shop if you do not, enjoy it with all the free time not having to worry about mulberries and double sided tape and trees going up in flames affords you oooh, goodreads choice awards semifinalist for best mystery thriller 2018 what will happen oh, it will lose to stephen king, the man who wrote a glowing review of this book although his review had a pretty significant factual error she s still a winner in my heart OH MY GOD, IT S HERE AND IT S NOT AN ARC IT S A FINISHED COPY AND IT S MIIIIIIINE goodbye, rest of day you belong to tana french now UPDATE while my plan to corner an unscrupulous intern harlequin presents 945 cornering the unscrupulous intern may have failed, the universe has provided, and i am going to be reviewing this for l.a review of books ARC is en route A MOST FRABJOUS DAY, INDEED these are the penguin random house offices in nyc i am prepared to camp out in front of them until some kindly intern slips me an ARC of this.