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The Fury Bets On...

The Fury

February 2024

When I started reading THE FURY by Alex Michaelides, it was a blustery cold weekend. I was more than ready for a vacation on a privately owned Greek island named Aura with a movie star and her friends. The island had been given to the actress as a wedding present from her now-deceased husband. I loved that sentiment. So I settled in to be told a story from the perspective of Elliot Chase, our narrator.

The setup is lovely. Lana Farrar (great name) is an ex-movie star (if there is anyone who is an ex-movie star; I feel like that title just lives on) who is at Aura with her friends. Elliot introduces the characters, all from his point of view. As he narrates, he will do his best “not to hijack the narrative too often.” When he does not succeed, we get a major helping of dishy background.

From there, each character has a reason to be murdered or to murder. There are guns available. There are lots of places to hide. There are people who tend to the island. Elliot fills us in on all of them and takes great care to tell the story the way he wants it to be conveyed. It is told in five acts, and there also is an epilogue.

Knowing that Michaelides grew up on Cyprus and studied the Greek myths, I am sure that I missed some overarching connection to one of them. Instead I enjoyed my island retreat, which was paced well and was as fun as a story with a murder can be. I embraced Michaelides’ storytelling where (and I am paraphrasing here) a solitary leaf moved and spun in a circle getting bigger and bigger, wider and wider, higher and higher…as the winds appeared…and the fury began.

If you loved the movie Knives Out, you will enjoy this book.

Oh, and THE FURY is dedicated to Uma Thurman. I found a piece on why this happened. When Michaelides was writing THE SILENT PATIENT, “she had some really good advice. I told her about the character of Alicia, and she said to me, ‘What does she do?’ And I said, ‘I don’t know.’ And Uma said, ‘She should be a painter because then if she doesn’t speak, that’s her way of getting the unconscious onto the page, and we can communicate through her paintings.’ And I thought that was a really brilliant idea, so I went back and rewrote a lot of the book after she gave me that advice.”

As we all know, THE SILENT PATIENT went on to become Michaelides’ debut novel and a mega bestseller. And there is a nod to that book in THE FURY.

The Fury
by Alex Michaelides