Well written, as expected. French is one of our best living authors.
I liked but did not love this novel.
The narrator is Toby Hennessy, social media guru for an art gallery.
After confronting burglers (?), Toby is beaten nearly to death. To convalesce from his amnesia, aphasia, headaches, and PTSD he retreats to his Uncle Hugo’s country house to recuperate.
A skull is found by a child in an old Witch Elm. The real mystery starts there.
Much of the book is dialogue between Toby and his childhood best friend / cousins, Susanna and Leon.
This is modern literature. I do recommend the book.
Stephen King’s review:
French has eschewed her popular Dublin Murder Squad series here to write a stand-alone novel, and as often happens, her work — never dull to begin with — has gained a certain lively freshness.
Oh, there are detectives, and they arrive equipped with all the surface bonhomie and dangerous, not to say feral, undertones that we are used to in a French novel.
The only difference here — and it’s a big one — is that when they finish one of their nerve-jangling interviews and exit Ivy House, the Dublin manse where most of “The Witch Elm” is set, we are not privy to their speculations or deductions. …
Is the novel perfect? Nope. …
This is good work by a good writer. For the reader, what luck.