50 pages 1 hour read

Tana French

The Witch Elm

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2018

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Chapters 8-10

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 8 Summary

Rafferty pushes Toby to claim ownership of the red sweatshirt the police found in the attic. He also reveals that the key to the garden door was found near Dominic’s skeleton, leading police to officially declare murder as the cause of death. He pushes Toby to talk about Dominic’s drug usage, but Toby declines. Lastly, Rafferty shows Toby a picture of a cord tied in a garrote; the police found this cord near Dominic’s skeleton. Rafferty suspects this to be the murder weapon. He posits that the cord matches the length of a sweatshirt drawstring, and that the red sweatshirt from the attic is missing its drawstring.

Toby realizes Rafferty wants him to confess to manslaughter, believing Dominic died from a drug overdose and Toby hid his body. The sweatshirt is insufficient evidence to convict Toby, but he still feels unsettled. He hypothesizes that the police view him as a murder suspect because of his weakened state. Still, he feels protective of Hugo, who becomes increasingly wary of the police investigation. Hugo suffers a seizure after one dinner, and Toby fears he will die. Melissa stops Toby from calling an ambulance, telling him that seizures are now standard for Hugo.