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Beschreibung des Verlags
From the writer whose novels inspired the BBC's Dublin Murders TV series...
'One of the most compulsive psychological mysteries since Donna Tartt's The Secret History' THE TIMES
'An engrossing, unpredictable, beautifully written mystery' SOPHIE HANNAH
'Dark and twisty' SUNDAY TIMES
'Mesmerising' GILLIAN FLYNN
'I'm a big fan of Tana French' IAN RANKIN
WHAT DO WE HIDE INSIDE OURSELVES?
One night changes everything for Toby. He's always led a charmed life - until a brutal attack leaves him damaged and traumatised, unsure even of the person he used to be. He seeks refuge at his family's ancestral home, the Ivy House, filled with memories of wild-strawberry summers and teenage parties with his cousins.
But not long after Toby's arrival, a discovery is made: a skull, tucked neatly inside the old wych elm in the garden.
As detectives begin to close in, Toby is forced to examine everything he thought he knew about his family, his past, and himself.
A spellbinding book from a novelist who takes crime writing and turns it inside out, The Wych Elm asks what we become, and what we're capable of, if we no longer know who we are.
'The Wych Elm should cement French's place in the first rank of great literary novelists 'Observer
'This book confirms Tana French as [crime fiction's] biggest contemporary star' Guardian
'Lyrical, suspenseful, unpredictable' Harlan Coben
'French offers a masterclass in unreliability' Sunday Times
'Terrific - terrifying, amazing, and the prose is incandescent' Stephen King
'Another one of her rich psychological thrillers that will work its way under your skin' Lucy Mangan, Stylist
'To say Tana French is one of the great thriller writers is really too limiting. Rather she's simply this: a truly great writer' Gillian Flynn
'This mystery about family, memory and the cracks in both will haunt you for a long, long time' Erin Kelly
Reviewed by Julie Buntin, The Witch Elm is Tana French's first standalone, following six Dublin Murder Squad mysteries. It's as good as the best of those novels, if not better. In theme and atmosphere, it evokes her earliest two books, Into the Woods and The Likeness, using the driving mystery of course, there's a murder as a vehicle for asking complex questions about identity and human nature. But in this latest work, privilege is French's subject; more specifically, the relationship between privilege and what we perceive as luck. Who might we become if the privileges we take for granted were suddenly ripped away?, Instead of a world-weary detective, our narrator is Toby, an easygoing 20-something who has always taken his wild good fortune as a matter of course. He's attractive, clever, and universally liked. A publicist for a Dublin art gallery, he has a girlfriend so saintly that it takes a while for her to register as a real character (or at least for him to see her that way). Then robbers break into his apartment and beat him so badly that the physical damage permeates every aspect of his life, fundamentally altering his appearance, his gait, and his sense of self. His memory is newly riddled with gaps; his frustration as he attempts to discern what's real, what's remembered, and what's paranoia adds fuel to the plot. While he's in the hospital, his beloved Uncle Hugo, keeper of the Ivy House, a family property that's rendered with French's signature attention to real estate, is diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Toby moves in with him, both to keep him company and because he, too, needs a caretaker., When a human skull turns up in a hollow of a witch elm in the backyard of the Ivy House, the plot revs its engine. Who does the skull belong to? And what does Toby have to do with whoever died in his backyard, or at least who was buried there? In typical French fashion, just when you think you've started to piece it all together, the picture shifts before your eyes. It's a bold move to wait until nearly a third of the way into the book to deploy the body. But what might seem like throat-clearing in another writer's novel is taut and tense in The Witch Elm, thanks to a layered network of subplots and the increasing fragmentation of Toby himself. In many ways, the most interesting question the novel asks is not whodunit; it's whether, and how, Toby will come back together again., Stepping outside the restrictions of the Dublin Murder Squad format suits French. Readers used to the detective's perspective might miss the shop talk, not to mention the pleasure of inhabiting the POV of the smartest character rather than (in this case) the most bewildered. By channeling the story through a narrator who's unfamiliar with the very worst parts of human nature, she's able to put her thematic questions at center stage . She carefully builds Toby up, and then strips every part of him away; the result is a chilling interrogation of privilege and the transformative effects of trauma. , Julie Buntin is the author of Marlena, a novel.Correction: An earlier version of this review misstated the number of Dublin Murder Squad mysteries Tana French has written.