Book reviews

The Wych Elm by Tana French – Book Review. #bookreview #TheWychElm #TanaFrench


For me it all goes back to that night, the dark corroded hinge between before and after, the slipped-in sheet of trick glass that tints everything on one side in its own murky colours and leaves everything on the other luminous and untouchable.

One night changes everything for Toby. A brutal attack leaves him traumatised, unsure even of the person he used to be. He seeks refuge at the family’s ancestral home, the Ivy House, filled with cherished 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 standalone from a literary writer who turns the crime genre inside out, The Wych Elm asks what we become, and what we’re capable of, if we no longer know who we are..

(from Goodreads)


Toby is one of those lucky people, he always lands on his feet no matter what scrapes he gets into.  However, this is about to change, he knew an artist was bogus but didn’t tell his boss…….he got found out, his home is broken into and he is beaten so badly he ends up in hospital in a bad way. 

Toby is then questioned about the robbery, and feels he is treated as the perpetrator and not the victim. Then he hears that his uncle has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. 

So to come to terms with his new situation and to help in the care of his uncle, Toby moves back to the family home, with his girlfriend. A couple of his cousins are also there and they find a skull in the garden, and this is where Toby’ luck goes from bad to worse. 

This is not a fast paced tale and it details Toby’s trauma, physical and psychological,  in a sympathetic and realistic way, but I didn’t really like him, I felt this was intentional so you just don’t know who to trust….compelling writing and very clever. Just shows how reaching our actions can be to our lives and those of others, and the consequences of such. 

I would like to thank the Author/the Publishers/NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review


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