Regular price: $38.50

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

"Tana French's best and most intricately nuanced novel yet.... Get ready for the whiplash brought on by its final twists and turns." (The New York Times)

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 stand-alone 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.

©2018 Tana French (P)2018 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    218
  • 4 Stars
    123
  • 3 Stars
    76
  • 2 Stars
    39
  • 1 Stars
    43

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    290
  • 4 Stars
    104
  • 3 Stars
    43
  • 2 Stars
    17
  • 1 Stars
    30

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    202
  • 4 Stars
    111
  • 3 Stars
    73
  • 2 Stars
    45
  • 1 Stars
    47
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Alison
  • essex jct, VT, United States
  • 10-11-18

Wow!

Wow, Tana French couldn’t have timed this book any better. I don’t want to give anything up...but what happens when a privileged frat boy type starts to lose some of the privilege he has enjoyed?

I have hundreds of books in my audible library— I probably listen to 3-4 a week. This is in the top 5. Fabulous narration too.

38 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

What's the Point?

I love love love Tana French's other books, but this one was really disappointing. Agonizing, even.

The characters were mostly unlikable, unrealistic people, behaving in inexplicable ways. None of the witty banter that makes TF's other books so enjoyable.

Like other reviewers, I kept waiting for the plot to emerge; and when it finally (kind of?) did, I couldn't get it over with fast enough. The story could've easily been told in half the time and lose nothing. Four hours describing a week in the hospital? I should've known to quit & return the book then.

If you're a TF fan who's skeptical of these reviews and insist on buying this book (like I did), do yourself a favor and get the abridged version.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A lovely break from the Dublin Murder Squad!

I really enjoyed the story told in this book. So many reviews have been negative and I can only wonder if it was the lack of parallels to the DMS?
The Witch Elm is a toast to Tana French and her lyrical writing. The family tree (literal and figurative) is layered and relatable and unfolds in such a way that you are stunned whilst simultaneously nodding along in agreement. Tana’s ability to weave mystery into normalcy and honesty was taken to a new level with the three cousins, Toby, Suzanne, and Leon. I enjoyed the way the story slowly unfolded yet was never bored.
Give this branch on Tana French’s tree a chance. If you love DMS and the cadence of her writings, The Witch Elm will not disappoint.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Yawn

Such a promising premise.
But
It was pointless , meandering, and slow.
Narrator did a great job , though.

23 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Long, depressing, unlikeable protagonist.

Not a good Tana French book. Pre-ordered it based on her past very good novels. Should have skipped it...

26 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Skip this one by French

Not sure what else to say except the main character in this book is unbearable. It took every fiber of my being to finish this listen. Honestly, I have loved all of her previous books but this is a very big disappointment. I wanted the main character to die or get arrested within the first hour just to make it end. If you're looking for 20 hours of audible torture, I recommend buying this title.

25 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

I don't usually give 1 start reviews

I've read all Tana French's books and have recommended them often. After more than five hours of this book, nothing interesting has happened. Everything so far could've easily fit into one chapter or less. I don't usually give one star reviews but the descriptive for one star was 'not for me', which is how I feel about this one. My time is worth something and this feels like a waste.

44 of 52 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Eagerly awaited this book coming out. But...

...it really wasn't that good. It's punishingly long. Could easily have had been a third shorter (if not cut in half).

The narrator is ok, no more and the way he voices the girlfriend makes her sound like a complete idiot, which she patently isn't, simply a pleasant human in a book with few of them.

The overall arch of the story is not one of French's best. Having recently read The Secret Place and been disappointed with that as well, I think I'm done with French for a long time. A shame as I loved her early crime novels. Perhaps she's switched editors, as her books now seem to ramble on interminably. A sense of place is good, chapters and chapters were nothing much happens, not so much.

Avoid unless you're an superfan is my suggestions.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

The kind of that narrator ruins the story

I am not finished listening, so I can not review the whole book. The story, so far, is just ok. The main character is not very interesting, he is a bit of a narcissist. and since the first few hours are just him, it isn't that enjoyable.
I think what is making it less enjoyable to listen is the narrator. He is the type that likes to pack a punch with each sentence, drawing out a word even if the word is fairly inconsequential. It's a bit much.
I am pretty disappointed so far, as I love all of Tana French's previous novels, but as I said, will carry on and see what happens.
Just thought I'd give a heads up.

For comparison, I can not listen to Xe Sands, I find that her voice and delivery ruin every book. I feel similarly about Paul Nugent.

36 of 44 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Very disappointed

Tana French is a very talented writer who totally missed the mark with this book. Written in the first person, the narrator manages to convey the main character's (Toby) whininess, egotism and general loathsomeness. The story is too long, depressing and slow moving. It is hard to enjoy or even finish a book when the major character is so unlikeable.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful