Review: The Fury

Bestselling author and screenwriter Alex Michaelides has once again given readers a riveting mystery to sink their teeth into. “The Silent Patient” author is well-versed in suspense, driving readers to the brink of insanity with his new 2024 thriller “The Fury.” A tale of trauma, heartbreak and love, “The Fury” is an excellent character study inspired by Agatha Christie classics. 

“The Fury” follows the narrator Elliot Chase as he takes the audience through the twisted plot of his life. He asks readers to settle down with him and have a drink in his imaginary bar as he recites a murderous tale. Ex-movie star Lana Farrar invites family and friends, including Chase, to a windy Greek island. The seemingly spontaneous vacation places seven conflicting characters together which, of course, ends in a murder. Their motivations, all equally strong, make them compelling suspects while readers find themselves accusing each one throughout the book. 

As if the island were drawn throughout the pages, Michaelides creates infinite imagery during both casual and chilling scenes. His description of the violent windy beach and the cold texture of the ground allows the reader to feel present in the midst of chaos. The poetic ambience of the book tends to make up for the author’s short bursts of information the author is willing to provide.

The audience is forced to feel right at home with Mr. Chase while he points out his flaws and gives the reader a chance to form their own opinions. Michaelides’ uses Chase’s unreliable and unstable personality with purpose. Though it begins to make sense in the second half of the book, the rapid switching from first to third person creates a confusing omniscient narrator. Chase seems to know the feelings of others and what they are thinking at the moment. 

While the confessions of his biases push readers toward sympathy for Chase, it is almost too obvious that the author made this unreliable narrator. It requires no effort to conclude this, and he ends up coming across as pretentious and cliche. Though as “The Fury” progresses, Chase’s backstory becomes more and more compelling, urging the audience to read from a place of compassion and understanding; this is where a character study seems more apt than a novel. 

Like most murder mysteries, the plot eventually becomes unrealistic. After each cliffhanger at the end of several chapters, it became clear that Michaelides gets caught up in the end result rather than the moment. He tries, mostly in vain, to make sure that readers have no context and thus will never figure out the conclusion, but this failure only makes the back-and-forth plot more confusing. 

The book’s most egregious flaw is certainly its unbearable pace. “The Fury” is overwhelmingly slow as Chase continues to rerun each detail with only slight alterations each time. Every recollection makes the plot annoyingly perplexing until the very last pages. Michaelides seems to prefer this writing style, especially with his similarly unrealistic novel “The Maidens.” 

During Chase’s spiel, readers will be certain they have correctly solved the details of the murder from the beginning. The obvious immediately jumps out again and again and again, until finally the audience is forced to admit defeat. They will realize the true answer will not be revealed until the final moment, ensuring that readers will have to claw their way to the end. The conclusion felt unsatisfyingly weak considering the overdone anticipation, but that may have been exactly what Michaelides intended.


Ratings from left to right: 5/5, 4/5, 3/5, 2/5, 1/5

Kira Law

Senior Kira Law is the Co-Editor-in-Chief for her fourth year with Cedar BluePrints. She has yet to decide what career path interests her, but she enjoys film and literature. In her free time, she plays softball for the Lady Jags softball team, helps with the Cedar reader book club, and watches movies. This year in journalism, Law hopes to establish herself as someone her peers can go to for help. She appreciates the great minds of the staff and how journalism gives her more insight into the school community.

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