The Fury - Alex Michaelides - Keeping Up With The Penguins
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A movie star invites her friends to join her on a private Greek island… and then there’s a murder. That’s basically the premise of The Fury, the new book by Alex Michaelides (best known for his best-selling #BookTok sensation The Silent Patient). My friends at Penguin Books Australia were kind enough to send me a copy for review.

There’s really not much more to tell you about the plot of The Fury. It’s a locked room mystery on a private island in a gorgeous location with glamourous characters. Michaelides is clearly doing everything he can to catch our eye, and he’s planning a few plot twists to keep us interested.

I’ll say straight up that I don’t think the Prologue or the first chapter are really necessary. If I were reading The Fury again, knowing what I know now, I’d just go straight from Chapter Two. The chapters are short, which makes the story feel punchy and pacy, but the foreshadowing at the end of just about every chapter is a bit heavy handed. Michaelides loves to end a chapter with an ominous clanger that’s meant to build suspense, but by the second act it starts to really grate on the reader. All up, it’s quite clumsy for a third novel.

Dual timelines in mysteries are pretty tired, but this one has a nice alternative. Michaelides manages to achieve the same effect in The Fury by having the narrator circle back and tell the story again from the beginning, zooming in on different parts to reveal more information that casts the rest in new light.

I did my best to stay credulous, but a couple of plot points in The Fury really stretched beyond the believable. I can’t say much more without “giving it all away”, except that I can’t imagine a world where characters behave the way the characters in this novel do. It’s all in service of the ending; Michaelides must have started with that, and tied himself up in knots trying to make it work.

All told, The Fury is a great idea for a twist on a locked room mystery, but it needed more refinement before going to print. I suspect a few fans of The Silent Patient will love it, but most will be disappointed.

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