I am linking up with Vicki @ I’d Rather Be At The Beach who hosts a meme every Tuesday to share the First Chapter First Paragraph or two of the book you are currently reading or plan to read soon.
After finishing my last audiobook, I was prepared to jump right into this week's book. I've read all the books that Tana French has written up to this point (and enjoyed them). All of those are in her loose series featuring the Dublin Murder Squad. My book this week is her first standalone. Here's the beginning of:
by Tana French
I've always considered myself to be, basically, a lucky person. I don't mean I'm one of those people who pick multi-million-euro lotto numbers on a whim, or show up seconds too late for flights that go on to crash with no survivors. I just mean that I managed to go through life without any of the standard misfortunes you hear about. I wasn't abused as a kid, or bullied in school; my parents didn't split up or die or have addiction problems or even get into any but the most trivial arguments; none of my girlfriends ever cheated on me, at least as far as I know, or dumped me in traumatic ways; I never got hit by a car or caught anything worse than chicken pox or even had to wear braces. Not that I spent much time thinking about this, but when it occurred to me, it was with a satisfying sense that everything was going exactly as it should.
And of course there was the Ivy House. I don't think anyone could convince me, even now, that I was anything other than lucky to have the Ivy House. I know it wasn't that simple, I know all the reasons in intimate, serrated detail; I can lay them out in a neat line, stark and runic as black twigs on snow, and stare at them till I almost convince myself; but all it takes is one whiff of the right smell--jasmine, lapsang souchong, a specific old-fashioned soap that I've never been able to identify--or one sideways shaft of afternoon light at a particular angle, and I'm lost, in thrall all over again.
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.
Have you read The Witch Elm or any of Tana French's other books? What did you think? Would you continue?