The Fury by Alex Michaelides – Book Review

Not one to write home about

The Fury referred to in Alex Michaelides’ latest thriller references various emotional states our characters feel… and the weather. What it more accurately describes however, is the feeling you’ll have when you close the curtains on this thriller, which squanders its final act in rather spectacular fashion.

The story itself is rather intriguing, with the tagline on the front cover promising that there were “seven of us on the island. One of us was a murderer.” However, the book very quickly lays the foundation for figuring out exactly who the killer is, while using a rather unconventional (and if I’m honest, not very effective) fourth-wall breaking, self-aware protagonist. 

Elliot is the one telling this story and he begins by waffling, going into tangents that stretch on for pages at a time, and giving not-so-subtle hints to the audience that he’s skewing the story in his favour. Get used to this though, it’ll happen for the next 350 pages.

So what is this story you may ask? Well, the book doesn’t really center on Elliot. It actually focuses on his best friend, Lana Farrarr. She’s a reclusive ex movie-star and she decides to jet off to a Greek Island for the summer along with six friends – Elliot among them.

Alongside Elliot, these characters hold more than a secret or two, and as the weekend progresses, murder is very much on the table. 

This murder takes place at around the midway point of the book, and the pace up to that point is rather slow and laborious. There’s a lot of groundwork done in establishing who these characters are and how they act… and that almost seems to be thrown out the window for the last two acts.

The story is split into five acts in total, with an epilogue to close things out too. That’s deliberate, as you’ll see from reading this one, and it actually works quite well. Unfortunately, those aforementioned final two acts racket up the pace in a crazy way.

That alone wouldn’t be too much of an issue but the story takes an incredulous and somewhat unbelievable turn too. It’s here where a couple of players act completely out of character and the final twist is actually quite farcical when you stop and think about it.

It also doesn’t help that Elliot Chase just isn’t a particularly nice protagonist. Very early on, he establishes himself as a pretentious know-it-all and whether intentional or not, it makes it very difficult to actually care about what happens to him by the time the curtains fall.

It’s a shame because the book has a lot of potential. The style could have made this a truly unique entry in the thriller genre. The self-aware jabs at how books are written, along with the pitfalls within them, makes for a delightfully satirical read, but it’s just a shame that the thriller aspect doesn’t shine anywhere near as brightly as the ideas this tries to conjure.

Perhaps the fault then lies on our pretentious protagonist. After being told numerous times throughout the book that this take is “unlike anything you’ll ever read”, it’s ironic to sit here and feel like we’ve seen it all before. This one is, unfortunately, not one to write home about.


Read More: The Fury Ending Explained

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  • Verdict - 5/10

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