A murder mystery set on a private island sounds like the typical plot of the average thriller book. However, Alex Michaelides, the bestselling author of “The Silent Patient,” revamped the genre with his newest release, “The Fury.”
“The Fury” tells the story of elusive ex-movie star, Lana Farrar, and her dysfunctional friend group’s trip to her private Greek island, which ends in a murder. The story is told by a twisted, unreliable narrator and unfolds across five acts. I eagerly anticipated this book’s release, mostly to see if it could top “The Silent Patient,” which spent more than a year on the New York Times bestseller list.
The book is self-categorized as a “whydunit” instead of a “whodunit” by its main character, Elliot Chase. The book adopts a casual and conversational writing style, with Chase often speaking directly to the reader.
This lively approach is uncommon in books, especially thrillers, which usually stick to a first-person or third-person point of view. I was interested in this intimate tone, which eventually paved the way for an exciting read filled with twists.
“The Fury” takes the reader through the lives and interactions of each character. It frequently jumps back and forth in time to give the reader relevant information that doesn’t fully fit together until the novel’s close. The writing style and overall structure of the book reminded me of Netflix’s “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.”
Similar to “Glass Onion,” the book’s scenes unfold and are then revisited later in the book from different angles. However, the reader has a bird’s eye view of everything occurring in the novel, and the full picture remains elusive until the grand reveal at the end, when all is solved.
Aside from the intriguing characters and the mystical setting, the aspect of “The Fury” that struck me the most was its relentless amount of plot twists, each one more unexpected than the last. No matter how hard I tried to anticipate the direction of the story, Michaelides thwarted my predictions and kept me guessing until the very end.
All in all, I recommend “The Fury” to fellow thriller lovers looking for their next read. While it doesn’t necessarily measure up to the legacy of “The Silent Patient,” its quick chapters and unconventional storytelling make it a compelling read for anyone craving a unique reading experience.
But while “The Fury” was a thought-provoking book with a unique writing style, “The Silent Patient” remains my go-to thriller recommendation.
“The Fury” carved out its own niche in the genre, making it a distinct and worthwhile read — and now we wait for what Alex Michaelides writes next.