The Fury by Alex Michaelides
Thriller | Mystery
From the author of the bestselling thriller, The Silent Patient, comes a new story about a reclusive ex-movie star and her friends, whose spontaneous trip to a private Greek island is upended by murder…
This was my first read by Michaelides. While his previous work, The Silent Patient, has been widely lauded, I’ve yet to pick up a copy for myself solely due to the off-putting cover art. I will admit that I find this cover for The Fury just as disturbing — in an entirely different sort of way — and yet, I was excited to give this new-to-me author a try.
The Fury is told from the perspective of one of the main characters, a mesmerizing narrator — Elliot Chase. The narrator invites us to cozy up to the barstool beside him, top up our drinks, and settle in for a story of love and murder. Chase constantly addresses the reader, acknowledging his flaws and biases as a narrator, and weaves in his own flare for the dramatic. It was this voice that sucked me into the novel and took me along for a slow-building, fascinating ride.
Due to this type of storytelling, the book bounces forward and backward in time as Elliot reveals new information and things “we should know,” as he peels back each layer of the story. The result is a slow-burn thriller that stacks anticipation upon anticipation until we’re sent hurtling toward the conclusion in the final third of the book.
I love character-based thrillers and the psychology that is woven into the motives behind a cast of unlikable characters — and this book provided that. While character-driven mysteries can feel slow, the short chapters kept me engaged and quickly flipping pages. The tale is told over a series of five acts (the narrator is a playwright, after all) and I found myself constantly questioning whether we could trust the information and insights being presented to us.
Overall, I thought this was a well-written narrative with an original and intriguing story structure, and I will certainly be open to reading more of this author’s work in the future. If I can get over the creepy cover art first, of course…
(Note: Other reviewers have noted spoilers in the epilogue of The Fury for the author’s previous work, The Silent Patient, and recommend reading that book first.)
Fans of slow-burn thrillers with unlikable characters.
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Advance copy of the book provided courtesy of the publisher, Celadon Books. All opinions expressed are my own.
About the book:
(From the publisher) This is a tale of murder.
Or maybe that’s not quite true. At its heart, it’s a love story, isn’t it?
Lana Farrar is a reclusive ex–movie star and one of the most famous women in the world. Every year, she invites her closest friends to escape the English weather and spend Easter on her idyllic private Greek island.
I tell you this because you may think you know this story. You probably read about it at the time ― it caused a real stir in the tabloids, if you remember. It had all the necessary ingredients for a press a celebrity; a private island cut off by the wind…and a murder.
We found ourselves trapped there overnight. Our old friendships concealed hatred and a desire for revenge. What followed was a game of cat and mouse ― a battle of wits, full of twists and turns, building to an unforgettable climax. The night ended in violence and death, as one of us was found murdered.
But who am I?
My name is Elliot Chase, and I’m going to tell you a story unlike any you’ve ever heard.