Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Psychological Thriller Suspenseful Despite Lack of Surprises

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

An up-and-coming stage director, Alex Morris' life takes a tragic turn after her fiancé is stabbed to death while trying to defend a stranger.  Overcome by grief, the 26-year-old is in desperate need of a change—of scenery, of career, of everything that reminds her of Luke.  A friend offers her a job in Edinburgh teaching drama to students at a last-chance high school.  Alex is as overqualified for the position as she is underqualified; although she has plenty of acting/directing experience, she's never taught school before.  Though petrified, she vows to do her best.  

Alex's most challenging class consists of five prickly teens who refuse to cooperate with anything she says.  It's not until she lets them choose which Greek dramas to study that the kids start to take an interest.  Feeling triumphant, Alex fails to recognize just how seriously her students are taking their learning until a shocking tragedy occurs.  What actually happened?  And who is truly at fault?  

Written from two perspectives—Alex's and that of a student whose identity is revealed only at the end of the story—The Furies by Natalie Haynes is a well-plotted psychological thriller.  Not a particularly surprising one, but it's a solid, suspenseful read nonetheless.  Dark and depressing, the novel tells a sad, somber tale of grief and obsession.  As compelling as the book is, I didn't mourn its end—by the time I finished The Furies, I was more than happy to move on to something lighter.  

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for strong language, violence, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of The Furies from the generous folks at St. Martin's Griffin.  Thank you!

3 comments:

  1. Sometimes books that are this heavy and dark just depress me too much. Sounds like I should avoid this one.

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  2. This one sounds unique, I do like a psychological thriller.

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  3. Hmm ... I'm not sure if I want to read this book or not. I like that it's set at a high school in Edinburgh, and I do like psychological thrillers ...but somber and depressing, too? I don't know. Good review though.

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