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Monday, September 3, 2018

REVIEW: The Witch Elm by Tana French @vikingbooks #tanafrench

The Witch Elm
by Tana French

Thank you to Viking Books for this review copy.  As a thriller lover, I cannot believe this is my first French!!  What a way to be introduced!  See my full thoughts below.

Publisher:  Viking Books
Publish Date: October 9, 2018
464 Pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller

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.

My Review:

As an avid thriller reader, it's a shock that this is my very first Tana French!  I've heard great things about her as a thriller writer - I've also heard that her writing style might not be for everyone.  Well, I'm here to tell you that it's definitely for me! Obviously I can't compare this to her other works but I'm actually glad that this is the case.

Have you ever met that person who always seems to have things work out for them?  No matter what happens, you know if you were in that same situation, it would've panned out differently for you?  This is Toby - the luckiest guy - can talk himself out of anything with minimal effort, awesome girlfriend, good job (that he mayyyy have just messed up but also is fixable), great friends, etc.  Then an unexpected burglary happens and his world is flipped upside down.

French has this way of patiently bringing the story together.  Sometimes this type of writing can get wayyyy to descriptive for me and my attention span.  However, while some parts may have dragged just a bit, the way she did it really brings the atmosphere of the book straight into your brain.  You feel the house, the many intricate characters and we have questions... LOTS of questions about more than one mystery at hand.  

As a thriller lover, I find myself trying to figure things out as I read them - by the time I got to chapter 4, I thought for sure I knew.. or had an inkling of where it was going.  Now, you say, "Chapter 4.. really girl?" But chapter 4 was already 140+ pages in!  LONG CHAPTERS.  I was actually completely wrong.  However, the reveals that came wasn't overly shocking but the delivery was impeccable.  She builds up the story and somehow keeps tracks of every detail that it comes together seamlessly.

My first Tana... certainly not my last!


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