cover image The Fury

The Fury

Alex Michaelides. Celadon, $28.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-25-075898-9

Shades of Agatha Christie and Sunset Boulevard color this outstanding psychological thriller from bestseller Michaelides (The Maidens). Among the frenemies who gather for a weekend at a lush Greek island owned by former movie star Lana Farrar are Lana’s second husband, Jason Miller; her son, Leo; theater actor Kate Crosby; two servants; and the book’s unreliable narrator, playwright Elliot Chase. At the outset, Elliot tees readers up for “a tale of murder,” that is also “at its heart... a love story.” Shortly after arriving on the island, the group is trapped by unrelenting wind (in Greek: menos, or “the fury”), and before long someone is killed. Elliot then winds the clock back, delving into each attendee’s place in a thick web of jealousy, ambition, and infidelity. As he builds toward the bloody opening incident, he dwells on each character’s personality and flaws, revealing himself in the process, from his painful childhood that pointed him toward love of the theater to his complicated relationship with a much older, wealthy author whose death was gossip fodder. Michaelides keeps readers on deliciously unsteady ground throughout, ratcheting up the tension until he arrives at the final series of reveals. The result is a character-driven, atmospheric delight. Agent: Sam Copeland, RCW. (Jan.)