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The Witch Elm
The Witch Elm: A Novel | Tana French
A brilliant new work of suspense from "the most important crime novelist to emerge in the past 10 years." (Washington Post) From the writer who "inspires cultic devotion in readers" (The New Yorker) and has been called "incandescent" by Stephen King, "absolutely mesmerizing" by Gillian Flynn, and "unputdownable" (People), comes a gripping new novel that turns a crime story inside out. 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.
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Courtneyjo_reads
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I can‘t wait to read this one!!
Anyone on here use #bookstagram? I‘d love to make new friends and see new recommendations for books! My handle on Instagram is courtneyjo_reads 📖💖

Scorpioseah I have got this book from my local library recently. We do have almost same taste on books. 6d
Courtneyjo_reads @Scorpioseah that‘s awesome, I love that!! Have any good recommendations for me? 😌😌 6d
25 likes2 comments
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Ncostell
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Mehso-so

While I‘ve really enjoyed Tana French‘s Dublin Murder Squad series, I did not find the same satisfaction from this stand alone book. It felt like there was a very long buildup until the central mystery was introduced which made me a bit impatient. There were a lot of dull stretches punctuated by interesting discoveries. At least I still have some Dublin Murder Squad books that I have yet to read.

Aswenson Agree! This took far too long to get to the point. Bits and pieces were interesting, but many parts dragged. 7d
BeckyMerilatt I thought it was a bit long, but the psychology and (main) character development had me totally sucked in. 7d
51 likes2 comments
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Ruthiella
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Third time is the charm! After checking this title out twice before and returning it unread I‘m finally actually reading it!!! 90 pages in. It‘s slow but I‘m enjoying the writing so far.

thebluestocking Thank you for the love today!! 💙💙 I hope you make it through this time! 2w
Ruthiella @thebluestocking You‘re welcome! 🤗I‘m gonna read it for sure this time! It already has its hooks in me. 2w
28 likes2 comments
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BookaholicNatty
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Book #9 in the Modern Mrs Darcy Must Read mystery list. Toby is attacked by two burglars and left for dead. He heads to his uncles cabin to recover and rest. All is well until he discovers a skull in the garden leaving Tony questioning everything he knew about his family and himself. This novel of Tana French‘s is one of her only stand alones.

70 likes2 stack adds
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purebugbeauty72
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Hoping for rain today so I can make in dent in this one. One week until book club.

purebugbeauty72 Update: It was meh. I wasn't invested in any of the characters and didn't really care who did it or why. I would have ditched it but it's for book club. 2w
2 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Oliveldn
The Wych Elm | Tana French
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Mac the Cat decided to help choose my next read. After much consultation we‘ve gone for The Wych Elm! #tanafrench

kimba7 Beautiful kitty :) 3w
Oliveldn She is my little cutie ☺️ 3w
5 likes2 comments
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Christyco125
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Pickpick

Not a lot of real action but heaps of internal action. I was about 4 hours in when I realized there wasn‘t a whole much going on but I was still interested. Narrator was excellent as well.

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booklover3258
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Panpan

Based off the cover, I thought it was going to be a supernatural/horror book. Nope not at all. In a nutshell, a skeleton is found in a tree and the cousins and uncle who were in the house at the time are suspects So much irrelevant detail I didn't need to know. This book really could have been cut in half. Was I surprised at who the killer was? Nope. I was more surprised who set up the burglary/beat up of Toby and the Rafferty/Toby last talk.

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krismlars
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Having a celebratory tea in the family lounge of the hospital...my dad has finally been approved for a room at the nursing home! Hoping he can get transferred today. Of course, there‘s nothing happy about the situation, but I‘m incredibly relieved. Thanks for all the love and support from Litsy! And I‘m loving this book, despite hating the main character.

MaGoose Hope things work out for you regarding your dad. 1mo
tpixie Hard to have a parent move to nursing home, but so thankful, that when it's necessary, that it's approved!! Best wishes. ♥️📚♥️ 1mo
SW-T Glad your dad was approved. Hopefully he‘s all settled in and adjusting well to his new surroundings. 💕 4w
ValerieAndBooks Hope your dad is doing better now 💖 4w
Smrloomis Glad that came through for you. Sending good thoughts. 4w
51 likes1 stack add5 comments
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wen4blu
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Only two days til book club, hope I can finish in time!

44 likes2 stack adds
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krismlars
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My dad has always been in denial about his condition. Sorry for the melancholy posts, but these quotes are really hitting me hard.

kspenmoll So sorry. 💕💕 1mo
24 likes1 comment
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krismlars
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Sometimes I stare at my dad‘s bald head and imagine the tumors growing, pushing at his skull.

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krismlars
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My borrowed Outlander ebook was returned to the library before I could finish☹️. Luckily I‘ve got a back up! It‘s strange to be reading a Tana French novel that isn‘t part of the Dublin Murder Squad, but so far I‘m enjoying it a lot more than the most recent in the series.

30 likes1 stack add
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Macnjen
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Audiobook for #LitsyAtoZ challenge. Will this story EVER end???? Holy cow.

britt_brooke 😆 I liked it, but it‘s a long, slow burn. 1mo
Macnjen @britt_brooke - I'm just unsure where it can go from here and there's still 15% to go! I'll stick with it because I'm so close to the end.
1mo
britt_brooke @Macnjen You‘re almost there! 💪🏻 1mo
Macnjen Audiobook. I'm torn because I like her descriptions, and the narration was good but the story was not great. The other 2 I've read left me feeling a skeptical as there's too much of a “stretch“ to be believable. Plus, the last chapter of self discovery was just not for me. A few side stories could have been cut due to lack of relevancy, in my opinion. Which is Tana' French's BEST book in your opinion? #LitsyAtoZ challenge. @bookishmarginalia 1mo
11 likes1 stack add4 comments
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BekaReid
The Wych Elm | Tana French
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Pickpick

I became a fan of Tana French through her Dublin Murder Squad series. This stand alone book is told from a bit of a different perspective and that of an unreliable narrator. But it works, and French does it well dealing with brokenness on many fronts forcing the narrator to recognize his privilege, to face the ghosts of his past, to see his blind spots, to see who he was and who he wants to be.

9 likes1 stack add
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Maman929
Witch ELM | Tana French
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Panpan

Ok, so I trudged my way through this one. I was ready to walk away but kept on since it was a pick for #pop19, and I am determined 😁. It may not be fair to “pan” this book, but I just did not find it enjoyable. There was nothing to like about 99% of the characters, there was only one I felt I could even tolerate. I found it to be slow moving and anticlimactic once the plot was revealed. I was really expecting more.

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kaykay521
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Mehso-so

First things first, let me tell you, this book is sloooowwwww. Seriously, I listened on audio and the actual mystery of the skull in the elm tree did not show up til at least 6 or more hours in (it‘s a 22 hour book). This is less traditional mystery and more a study on luck ( or privilege), and family dynamics. It was enjoyable, and a stand-alone from her Dublin murder squad series, which I haven‘t read.

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Clare-Dragonfly
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Pickpick

I remember the repeal of the 8th Amendment, but thought it was about abortion rights—I had no idea it was that awful. 😰

I thought this story took too long to get started, but having finished it, I realize all that tedious beginning needed to be there. I didn‘t like Toby, but the story wouldn‘t have worked with a different character. I‘m not sure I‘m satisfied with the ending, but really I liked the book a lot.

I‘m mad about the title though.

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Linda906
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Pickpick

Tana French is one of my top five favorite writers, making anything she writes an auto read for me. I love how she develops characters and uses even the setting to move along the story. However, this story of a family uncovering a decades old murder was my least favorite of all her books. The character development is a little too detailed and slow for me. I still liked it, but would have enjoyed it more had it been 100 pages shorter.

67 likes2 stack adds
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Clare-Dragonfly
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Woohoo! The plot is FINALLY starting!

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Caksf
The Wych Elm | Tana French
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Pickpick

Ok, it‘s official, I am a Tara French fan girl! Wow!-what a page turner. I started at 9 this morning, legitimately planning to read for a few hours before starting my day. I should have had a clue ( from the stomach growling) but I am utterly shocked that it‘s 3pm and I have not moved from the couch! Needless to say, I finished and loved it. 5/5!!

HardcoverHearts 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 I AM SOOOO HAPPY!!!!👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 2mo
Caksf @HardcoverHearts Me too!! Lol.. I was so absorbed in the drama, that once I finished the book- I was actually relieved that I had somehow successfully escaped .. in fact.. I‘m still in a good mood about it! 2mo
17 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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Maman929
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Ok, about 100 pages in and seems like it is taking some time for the story to develop. Is it worth sticking with? Does the story pick up? This is the first time I have anything from this author so not sure if this is typical of their style of writing. Thanks!! 👍📚

Slajaunie I like this author but I have not read this book. 2mo
Caksf Just finished it! It took awhile for me to get into, but once I hit 30 percent on kindle, I could not stop reading it 2mo
Maman929 Thanks @Caksf! I will keep at it 👍 2mo
Caksf @Maman929 Hopefully it grabs you like it did me! 2mo
20 likes4 comments
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Brie
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Pickpick

Tana French‘s latest mystery, plus her first standalone! I was excited to read this one, and it didn‘t disappoint. Maybe a bit too wordy at times. A skull is found in an old tree on the estate belonging to Toby‘s uncle who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer. Detectives swoop in on the scene and to interrogate the family, where long held secrets are finally uncovered and memories are questioned.

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Rachel_nyc
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Pickpick

This book started out very slow but the writing was great and the characters well developed and realistic. The mystery was intriguing but felt almost secondary. 3.5 🌟 The image is of course not a witch (wych) elm but spring has finally arrived in NYC and I love this tree! #pop19

erzascarletbookgasm So pretty! I love it too! 2mo
Eggs Beautiful ❣️ 2mo
squirrelbrain Oh, I love NYC when the blossom is out. 😍🥰😍🥰 2mo
See All 10 Comments
Rachel_nyc @squirrelbrain @Eggs @erzascarletbookgasm Thanks! It *almost* makes winter worth it! 🥶🥶 2mo
cathysaid I agree that the mystery didn‘t really seem to be the focus of this one. Enjoyed but not my fave Tana French novel. 2mo
Rachel_nyc @cathysaid This was my first of hers and i really like her writing style. Do you have a recommendation of what else to read? Should I just start with the first of the Murder Squad series? 2mo
cathysaid @Rachel_nyc Yes! In my opinion the first few in that series are her best! 2mo
Rachel_nyc @cathysaid Thanks! I will check that out soon. 2mo
Liz_M Beautiful. And it looks so familiar. ☺ 2mo
Rachel_nyc @Liz_M 😊🌸 2mo
13 likes10 comments
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Clare-Dragonfly
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I‘m not sure I can spend an entire book in this character‘s POV. Can‘t I read about Melissa instead? She seems far more interesting.

HeatherBlue I struggled with that, too! 2mo
21 likes1 comment
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LauraRenae
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Pickpick

Such mixed feelings. No one can argue with French‘s amazing writing at this point and I actually really liked how the story came together. It was just a bit long-winded for me. But what else can we expect from French? #ATY2019 #24B4Monday

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katepoirier
Pickpick

There is something so cozy about Tana French‘s writing, like getting into a bath and letting the warmth swirl around you...even when she‘s telling you about some terrible, brutal thing.

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BooksAtNight
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I did all the challenges for #booked2019 winter edition! Squeezed in The Witch Elm with just a few days before March ended :) I loved this book, which is typical Tana French: more focused on the effects of crime than on the crime itself. There are twists and turns to the story, but the focus is always on the people and how they affect the story.

Cinfhen Great job and love your graphics 🥰 3mo
Reviewsbylola Way to go!! 🥳🥳 3mo
22 likes2 comments
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Blaire
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Pickpick

French does it again. She knows how to build suspense. I was on edge trying to figure out who knew the mystery of the wych elm and how each character‘s destiny played out. I questioned each character‘s motives. An unreliable narrator story that didn‘t feel overdone. Toby genuinely questions himself and his recollections and belief of himself as a good guy.

Cathythoughts Nice review ♥️👍🏻looking forward to it 3mo
65 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Blaire
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Feeling a little sick but still taking advantage of the beautiful nearly spring weather to sit outside and read. This book has really pulled me in. Love Tana French.

Tamra Envy! 3mo
merelybookish Looks like a great reading spot! Hope you feel better soon. 3mo
Tanisha_A So lovely! 3mo
See All 11 Comments
Cathythoughts Feel better ! I have that book too ... must get to it 3mo
BiblioLitten The sunshine is so inviting! 💛💛 3mo
JennyM I hope the beautiful spring sunshine helped you feel better 😘 3mo
Blaire @Tamra so glad I took advantage of it! 3mo
Blaire @merelybookish thanks! I think the fresh air helped! 3mo
Blaire @Tanisha_A @bibliolitten it was wonderful! 3mo
Blaire @Cathythoughts thank you! I do feel better and the book is so good. She knows how to keep one on edge. 3mo
Blaire @JennyM thank you! It did! 3mo
72 likes11 comments
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gradcat
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Mehso-so

#Booked2019

#IrishAuthor

There is no doubt that Tana French can write. Her sentences are often beautiful, and she does a swell job evoking both place and mood. I am an absolute fan who loves her Dublin Murder Squad series. I think what has become so tiring for me is this sort of oblivious “lad” who can‘t even sympathize with what life might be like for those outside of his “circle” (clique) who don‘t quite measure up, because he can‘t even ⬇️

gradcat ⬆️ believe that sometimes bad things might happen that are completely outside of his ken. Toby is somebody who, for me, expresses exactly the attitude of privileged indolence that seems to be running through key members of our American government‘s top leaders. I‘m simply not interested, no matter how lovely the writing. The writing, however, is the reason I cannot pan this book: Tana French is simply very good at it. 3mo
Cinfhen Wonderful review! I just don‘t connect with Tana French for some reason. For me, her books seem a little distant/ cold. You‘re doing great on the challenge 😁🙌🏻 3mo
gradcat @Cinfhen Thank you very much—you‘re fast becoming my favorite person ever! 😂😂😂 Oh, and by the way, do you live in Australia? 3mo
See All 9 Comments
Cinfhen Ha!! Thanks for the compliment xx enjoy your posts as well 🥰and nope, not an Aussie ( but they are awesome) I‘m originally from the US but I‘m currently living overseas, in Israel. 3mo
gradcat @Cinfhen Oh, so cool! I was once engaged to a “Sabra,” If you know what that is. Israel is such a meaningful place for me, for a variety of reasons, and such a beautiful place as well. 3mo
Cinfhen I absolutely know what a “sabra” is ~ tough breed 😉And I agree, while Israel can be complicated at times it‘s still full of beauty too! 3mo
gradcat @Cinfhen They are, and he was—very tough, I agree. Israel is complicated, never easy, but I am a student of World War II, and thus have long been interested in its history & politics. I have a question (while I‘ve got you here 😂): Do you think the tagged book would satisfy the “night-oriented title” prompt for Spring #Booked2019 ? 3mo
Cinfhen 100% that would work!!! Go for it ❣️ 3mo
gradcat @Cinfhen Yay! Thank you very much!! 💕💕 3mo
79 likes1 stack add9 comments
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SomedayAlmost
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Great language, but story rambles. She is one of my favorite writers, but this stand-alone with a male narrator lacks urgency. #slow #takingabreak

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Aswenson
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Panpan

I truly did not get the point of this exhaustingly long book.
Some parts kept me intrigued and interested and others left me exasperated. The ending was dull and pointless.

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gradcat
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#QuotsyMar19

(Day 10 - #Hero/Heroine)

Suet624 💕💕💕 4mo
65 likes1 comment
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DHill
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Finally finished! Tana French‘s writing is fantastic but the story was a little slow and the ending seemed a bit anticlimactic. Overall though, I really enjoyed this and would recommend if you‘re a fan of Tana French.

SomedayAlmost I love her and I want to like it but I am taking a break half way though. Gorgeous language, it just isn‘t really going anywhere... 3mo
DHill @SomedayAlmost I felt the same way. I was probably at least half way through if not a little more before I felt invested in it. I‘m glad I stuck with it but it took a very long time for me to get through it. 3mo
62 likes2 comments
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inmegslibrary
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“Worrying had always seemed to me like a laughable waste of time and energy; so much simpler to go happily about your business and deal with the problem when it arose, if it did, which it mostly didn‘t.”

Suet624 That would be great. Hard to do though. 🤦🏻‍♀️ 4mo
ShyBookOwl Ha! I envy that... 4mo
107 likes1 stack add2 comments
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YourWordsByDesign
The Wych Elm | Tana French
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Pickpick
7 likes2 stack adds
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thegreensofa
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Yay my library good finally came in what a busy book.
A bit late for my #NewYearWhoDis but that's not going to stop me! Yay!!!!😀👏🏻. 🧡🧡📚🧡🧡

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erzascarletbookgasm
The Wych Elm | Tana French
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Thanks @Mitch for hosting this giveaway, and congrats on your Litsy milestone! 💙

I‘ve enjoyed the first two books in the Dublin Murder Squad series, and the next book for me to read is Faithful Place. I hope to complete the rest in the series this year 😄🤞 and also get the tagged book, the latest by the author, though it‘s not narrated by a detective from the squad.
Thank you!
#completetheseries

Mitch Haven‘t read anything by this author...might have to change that! Thanks for entering 👍🏼💕👍🏼 4mo
54 likes1 comment
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DHill
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After taking a break from this one I‘m back at it and almost done. It started off really slow for me and although it‘s not my favorite Tana French, I‘ve enjoyed it more as it has gone along.

SomedayAlmost I am taking a break from this too, to start another book I am excited about, but I hope to get back to this eventually. I love her & usually fly through her books... 3mo
41 likes1 comment
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kezzlou85
The Wych Elm | Tana French
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Pickpick

This a long book and at times it did seem to be a bit of a slog. That being said it was an interesting story and a clever plot. There are many twists along the way to the ending. I must admit it didn't end the way I hoped it would but I do think the ending worked for the story though. Toby is an interesting lead character, hes likeable but at the same time you're never truly sure about him. A good slow burner with an intriguing story.
#Netgalley

Amiable I‘m reading this right now—about halfway through. 4mo
kezzlou85 @Amiable are you enjoying it? 4mo
Amiable @kezzlou85 Yes? Pretty much. I guess. Not as much as her Dublin Murder Squad series, but still a decent read. I agree that some parts are a bit slower than I‘d like. 4mo
See All 6 Comments
kezzlou85 @Amiable I've read a couple of her Dublin murder squad and definitely liked them more. 4mo
jhod I have this from netgalley too - need to get on with reading! How is your dog? 4mo
kezzlou85 @jhod Hope you enjoy it. He's doing okay thanks. Infected tooth is gone but just keeping an eye on his ear and facial paralysis. 4mo
41 likes6 comments
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Aswenson
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Does this narrator EVER become likable? I find him selfish and spoiled.

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DHill
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Erofan 🐶💕 4mo
77 likes1 comment
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britt_brooke
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This atmospheric story isn‘t action-heavy like many suspenseful novels, but the complex, well-developed characters had me eager for the next page. Around a suspicious death, French creates slow-burning family mystery shrouded in moral ambiguity. That the unreliable narrator doesn‘t feel like an overplayed trope is a testament to her masterful writing.

Laughterhp I‘m glad to see a positive review of this book, I feel like I‘ve seen a lot of negative ones on Litsy. 4mo
britt_brooke @Laughterhp Thanks! I think this one really plays to readers‘ preferences. Suspense doesn‘t necessarily have to mean nonstop action. 4mo
ferskner Awesome! I'm so glad you liked it! 4mo
See All 12 Comments
lorannen While I still think the first 200 pages or so could have done with a bit more editing (possibly because I founs Toby insufferable and untrustworthy from the start), I'm so so glad I stuck with it. I tend not to recommend it as anyone's first adventure with French's work, I loved this in the end. 4mo
Cathythoughts I think I‘ll get this one ♥️👍🏻 great review ✨✨ 4mo
britt_brooke @lorannen The first bit took quite a long time to set up. I agree it could‘ve been edited down. This was my first French, but I‘ll definitely read a Dublin Murder Squad book soon. (edited) 4mo
Reviewsbylola Still need to read this! 4mo
Blaire I loved this one. Just finished it this evening. I‘ve read the entire Dublin murder squad series and recommend it highly. 3mo
britt_brooke @Blaire This was my first Tana French, but I want to read the Dublin Murder Squad now, too! 3mo
Blaire @britt_brooke yes! You must! Completely agree with your review re unreliable narrator in this one, it can feel so tired, but if worked for me here and didn‘t just feel like a plot device. 3mo
125 likes2 stack adds12 comments
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NeedsMoreBooks
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Mehso-so

Unpopular opinion but I did not like this as much as it was recommended. This is my first French so maybe her other books are better. The story is narrated by Toby who considers himself lucky. He has an incident at the beginning and then there is an investigation of a different incident that happens at his uncle‘s house. The characters are relatable and the plot is not bad but it is very slow, focusing a lot on the atmosphere than the pace.

Cinfhen I read my first French a few weeks ago and wasn‘t much of a fan, either 🙄 4mo
NeedsMoreBooks @Cinfhen Cindy, that makes me feel much better 😁 4mo
Cinfhen I know!!! I always feel “vindicated” when others share my dislikes 😂😂 4mo
18 likes4 comments
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Monica5
Bailedbailed

Had to bail. Struggled so hard to get to page 100. Even read a little further, but the book wasn't touching me.

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Expandingbookshelf
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No one talk to me until I‘ve eaten everything and read this book

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Christine11
The Wych Elm | Tana French
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Pickpick

I love Tana French - her books never fail to intrigue me and her latest book - and first stand alone novel - is no different! The way she writes builds the tension beautifully and her characters are always fascinating. My full review is on my blog now if you fancy reading!
https://lifewithallthebooks.com/2019/02/11/the-wych-elm-by-tana-french-arc-revie...
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I received this e-arc from Netgalley. My review is my own honest opinion.

60 likes1 stack add
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Whatthebook
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Mehso-so

⭐️⭐️⭐️ Filled with surprises, moved slowly. https://www.instagram.com/whatthebook__/p/BtuZ9jUHt_U/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet...

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Monica5
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Starting this. Seems like there are mixed reviews on it. Guess I will see where I fall.

Christine11 I loved it - I hope you do too! 😊 4mo
26 likes1 comment