Monday, November 28, 2011


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars.

Meet Eliza Boans.

Let me tell you, she's a piece of work. She lives in East Rivermoor, in this cocooned, upper class neighborhood. She comes from a "good" family, single child, her mom's lawyer, her dad is in America with his new family. She comes from money and it shows: she's a snobbish, elitist, mean bitch. Or is she? Why is she sitting at the police station, confessing to murder?

Fury is a book I won't easily forget, rest assured. It's one of those books that kept me guessing until the very end and, in a way, even after it. I'm not talking only about plot here, even though you'll probably ask yourself what is going on for a good part of the book. I'm also talking about characters, what they appear versus they are. Appearance vs. substance.

I imagine this book as a matrjoshka, one of those Russian dolls. When you start reading, you see only what's outside, the bigger doll, but as you go on, through a series of flashbacks, Eliza takes you further, helps you crack the outer shell, and see what's hidden inside.
I really loved the narrative strategy. The reader knows NOTHING at first. We don't know who, why or how. Eliza is just sitting there, at the police station, unwillingly talking to an anthropologist assigned to her case, whose task is to unveil the truth. But which truth? She stubbornly refuses to tell what happened, or to remember.
Little by little, through revealing flashbacks infused with her snarky personality, Eliza starts recounting a series of significant events that are ridden with clues and that will lead you to the last little doll, the ugly truth.

This narrative strategy is, of course, nothing new. I've read at least two other books this year where the same technique was employed. By far, this is the one where I enjoyed it the most. Smooth, convincing, the logical passages from present to past were all perfectly executed through Eliza's internal monologue, her unique voice.
You must have noticed how I'm talking only about one character here. There are of course others: Lexi and Marianne, her sidekicks. Neil, her childhood friend. Eliza's mom, a self-centered, oblivious lawyer. Brian, the anthropologist. But who matters is only Eliza, because what we know and who we know we perceive only filtered through her eyes, what she decides to disclose, which truth she wants to tell us. She is a Russian doll herself: the perception of a spoiled little brat we get at first is gradually tainted with little cracks here and there in her armor, and as we start to glimpse someone else inside, we start doubting. One of the most interesting female characters I've come across in a long time.
Of course, all this could not have been achieved without Marr's flawless writing style: perfect dialogues, peppered with the right amount of sense of humor, pop culture and snark. A pleasure to read. Period.

Now onto the reason for my imperfect rating: the end. I wasn't fully convinced.
First of all, at the end, but throughout all the book to be honest, I was wondering about the legal system in Australia. How can a murder suspect just go out to grab a burger with the person who's interrogating her? Is that normal? Or for the case to end the way it ended?
Second, I wish the final revelation hadn't been so... sudden. I don't want to spoil so I'll just say that I wish there had been more clues as to what would happen to make it really believable for me. I'm still full of questions and conjectures about it.

I'd like to thank Shirley Marr for giving us the chance to read this book here in Europe by sending a - at the time, very unattainable - copy to tour. I was very excited to read it and am very glad that it lived up to my expectations.
For Europeans, you can order this book here or contact us for more details about the current tour.


  1. Nice review Lisa I loved your Rusdian doll analogy! I am hoping to get a tour copy from Wendy! Shirley is wonderful!

  2. I simply cannot wait to read this! I love stories that have layers of hidden meaning, when things are not what they first appear, and with strong compelling characters. Great review!

  3. Girls, hope you can read this book soon because it's certainly worth it!


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