The Witch Elm by Tana French
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Not part of the Dublin Murder Squad series but a great standalone.
Toby has had what might be called a charmed, or lucky, life - things come easily to him, trouble usually passes him over, he's always been part of the popular crowd, and he's from a loving family. That changes one night when he's brutally beaten during a burglary, leaving him with some very slow healing injuries. Luckily, his beloved uncle Hugo is in need of some care after his diagnosis of a brain tumor, so Toby and his girlfriend move in to the Ivy House "for a few weeks". Those weeks slowly become months and then, one day, a skull is found in the wych elm in the garden. Whose skull is it? How did it end up there? (semi-spoiler, it's not cannibalistic Druids)
The unraveling of that mystery will also unravel Toby's charmed life as he questions not only his friends and family but his still-fractured memory of events. This is really well done, with a few surprises but nothing so out of the realm of possibility that credulity is strained.
eARC provided by publisher.