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The Fury

Recap, Summary & Spoilers



The Quick Recap and Chapter-by-Chapter Summary for The Fury by Alex Michaelides are below.

Ending & Explanations

See the Ending & Explanations for The Fury

Quick(-ish) Recap

The three-paragraph version: In the Fury, a retired movie star invites her friends -- Elliot and Kate -- to join her and her family -- her husband Jason and her son Leo -- on a getaway to a tiny private Greek island she owns, only for Lana to wind up dead from gunshot wounds on the second night. In Act II, we learn that she had discovered that her husband Jason and best friend Kate were having an affair which is why she planned the trip to confront them.

In Act III, we learn that Elliot was in love with Lana. He was the one who discovered Jason and Kate's affair, and he planted evidence so Lana would find out. In Act IV, we learn that Lana didn't die from those gunshots. It was a hoax to make Kate and Jason turn on each other. Then, Elliot tries to convince Kate that Jason actually meant to shoot her (Kate). He tells her that Lana was wearing Kate's shawl and Jason wanted to shoot Kate to prevent her from revealing their affair to Lana. Elliot hopes that this revelation will cause Kate to shoot Jason, which was Elliot's real plan all along. In Act V, we learn that they all knew about Elliot's real plan because Lana found his notebook describing it. Instead, they all faked going along with it. Their plan culminated with them turning on Elliot and shooting him (though it's just a blank to freak him out) as punishment for his psychotic plan.

Elliot is embarrassed and humiliated by all of this, and he shoots and kills Lana (for real) in anger. In the Epilogue, Elliot has been jailed for the murder.


The book opens with a narrator explaining that he's going to recount a story about a highly publicized murder that took place on a Greek island.

Act One

Lana Farrar is a famous, retired movie star who suggests that her friends, Elliot and Kate, join her and her family for a quick getaway at a tiny private Greek island near Mykonos that she owns, Aura. The island was a wedding gift from her first husband 25 years ago. They agree and meet her here, along with her husband Jason and teenage son Leo. Her longtime housekeeper Agathi joins them as well. Also, Nikos is the caretaker for the island and lives there year-round.

On the island, they eat delicious food and enjoy the beach, but the weather soon turns windy and gloomy. Jason and Kate have been having an affair, and Kate suspects Jason knows about it. Jason can't afford to have Lana find out, since he's in a financial mess after unsuccessfully managed other people's money, and he'll go to jail without Lana's money to bail him out. Their second night on the island, they have a tense dinner together on Mykonos, and three gunshots are heard. Leo is the first one on scene, followed shortly after by Agathi and Jason. Lana's dead body is found in a clearing, lying in a pool of blood.

Act Two

The narrator, Elliot, then retraces the events of the first act, filling in some missing information. He explains that Lana had discovered an earring in Jason's dry cleaning in the days before the trip, and she'd found a matching earring in Kate's makeup bag. Lana had long suspected there was something going on between them. Kate originally met Jason and was dating him, but when Jason met Lana, he fell for her, and Kate stepped aside.

Elliot then suggested going to the island to confront them -- a place where they'd be trapped and forced to face up to their misdeeds. On the island, Lana sees Jason and Kate kiss. The night after the dinner on Mykonos, she ends up asking Nikos for his help, asking him to do something for her in exchange for payment. Nikos tells her that all he wants is a kiss, and Lana consents. After she leaves his place, she's shot. The police aren't able to come until morning because the winds are too strong. (The narrator notes that by then they'd already know who the killer was.)

Act Three

In Act III, Elliot explains how he came to know Lana. His was a bullied and sad kid needing an escape from his life, so he first fell for her because of her movies. He ran away from home at 17 and ended up broke and desperate, doing unspeakable things to survive. Barbara West, a famous older novelist, came across him at a bar and took him home. He ends up staying with Barbara as a kind of escort. She gets her needs met, and in exchange Elliot gets shelter and exposure to her social circles. Elliot transforms himself, parroting the people she knows, and adopts the name "Elliot Chase".

One evening, he meets Lana at a party and befriends her. Their friendship grows, and he continues to fall for her, though she's already said she's not interested in romance. One night, he confesses many of his secrets to her, tells her he loves her and kisses her. Soon, he decides he wants to propose to her -- with a cheap ring in hopes of replacing it someone with something appropriate. But that night, Lana meets Jason and is all over him. That same night Barbara, tells Elliot that she met with Lana and told her the truth about his past and who he really is, and she let Lana know how money-hungry Elliot is.

Barbara soon dies, and Lana and Jason marry after a whirlwind romance. Elliot then happens to find out about Jason and Kate's affair purely by chance. He starts surveilling them and tries to find ways to expose it to Lana. He eventually comes upon the idea to plant the earring.

Act Four

Elliot reveals that there was more to the plan. Lana had told him, even after she discovered Jason and Kate's affair, that she had no intention of leaving Jason. So, Elliot's real plan was to destroy Jason.

At the island, after Lana is "shot" she wakes up and tells a very alarmed and upset Agathi that it's just a hoax. The point of Elliot and Lana's plan was to cause Kate and Jason to turn on one another, destroying their relationship.

Elliot then goes to talk to Kate. He tells her that he thinks Jason meant to shoot her, and not Lana. He says Lana had been wearing Kate's shawl. He knows that Jason is in financial trouble and that Jason couldn't afford to have Lana find out about the affair, so Jason wanted Kate dead. He also tells her that Nikos apparently fell off a cliff, according to Jason, while they were searching for an intruder, and he's dead. Elliot thinks Jason intends to frame Nikos now that he can't defend himself.

Kate is horrified and goes to confront Jason, but before she goes, Elliot presses a gun into her hand -- his real plan all along was to get Kate to shoot Jason. Elliot thinks that his plan has worked, but then Nikos shows up, alive and well. Kate, Jason and Nikos all turn on Elliot, accusing him of being the murderer and they decide they need to kill him. They force a gun into his hands and they force him to point it as himself and shoot.

Act Five

It's revealed that Lana actually knew about Elliot's plan to kill Jason all along, since she had found a notebook at his place detailing his scheme. Lana had then gone and made up with Kate, and the two of them had plotted the revenge scheme together, looping in everyone else (other than Jason since Lana wanted to punish him, too).

Elliot is actually okay, though since they used a blank. The point was not to kill him, just to freak him out and teach him a lesson for planning such a psychotic plan begin with. Afterwards, they all go back into the house to celebrate and tell him to leave. Elliot is humiliated and embarrassed and his feelings of being a bullied kid are reawakened.

Elliot returns to the house and in a fit of rage, he shoots Lana (for real). In the Epilogue, Elliot is now in jail for Lana's death. His former therapist Mariana comes to see him and suggests that writes down his feelings.

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Chapter-by-Chapter Summary


Prologue
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Epilogue

Prologue

The book opens by talking about a windy night when a murder took place. Leo, 17, was high and throwing up in the garden. It was windy and three gunshots went off. Leo went to check it out to find a dead body, letting out a horrified howl.

Then the others arrive, including our narrator.

Act I

Chapters 1 – 5

The narrator explains that he’s one of seven people who were on an island when a murder took place that was a tabloid sensation.

Lana Farrar is a retired Oscar nominated actress, who had made a career out of playing doomed heroines. She was discovered at 19 by the renown Hollywood producer Otto Krantz, who she later married. Otto was controlling and abusive when drunk and died of a heart attack a few years into their marriage. Lana retired at 40 and moved from Los Angeles to England with her son, Leo. There, she met and married Jason Miller.

Lana was the one who got the idea to take a Greek island vacation to get away from the overcast and rainy London weather. In addition to herself, Jason, Leo, she also planned to invite her friends Kate Crosby and Elliot Chase (our narrator), plus Agathi (the housekeeper).

Kate is a British theater actor. Kate is having a rough day at rehearsal when Lana calls. She’s in a production of Agamemnon playing Clytemnestra, but she’s struggling to get into character and remember her lines. When Lana suggests an Greek island vacation over Easter, Kate books her flight immediately.


The tiny Greek island, a few hundred acres in total, was a wedding gift from Otto to Lana. The nearest inhabited island is Mykonos, a twenty minute boat ride away. The island has one full-time caretaker on staff, Nikos. Nikos was originally a fisherman, but now he grows vegetables and fruits in a lush garden on the island. Lana visits the island about twice a year.

The main structures on the island are the main house, the caretaker’s cottage and the ruin. The ruins are the remnants of an ancient villa complex. Now, it’s a semicircle of six broken marble columns in a clearing, surrounded by olive trees. The real estate agent said the ruin was the once a theater, and Lana still refers to it as “the theater”.

The island’s name is Aura, named after the Greek goddess of the “morning air” or “breeze”. But the island often has strong Aegean winds, which some call to menos in Greek, which translates to “the fury”.


Our narrator, Elliot Chase, 40, had an unhappy childhood with his abusive father and alcoholic mother. He left home, changed his name and joined the theater world. For many years until her death, he lived with Barbara West, an older, famous novelist to whom he served as a kind of escort. Elliot was bitter that Barbara largely disinherited him when she died, so he wrote a play about their relationship afterwards, The Miserabilists, which pissed off her fans.

Chapters 6 – 7

Elliot runs into Kate at Gatwick Airport on the way to the island. On the flight, Elliot brings up the rumors that Kate and the director of her play, Gordon, have been butting heads. It sours Kate’s already poor mood. Kate is not fond of Elliot. He suspects under different circumstances they’d get along well, but there was an underlying competition for Lana’s attention and affection in their relationship that made it impossible.

From Mykonos Airport, they take a cab to the old port and then a water taxi to the island. When they arrive, a speedboat driven by Babis, the owner of Yialos restaurant on Mykonos, is departing the island. There’s a long-standing agreement for him to deliver groceries to the island and arrange for cleaning when needed.

Upon arrival, they’re greeted warmly by Lana and Leo. Jason is perturbed that others are here, saying that he needs to get work done. Jason thinks Elliot is a prick, and Elliot thinks Jason is condescending towards Lana. Elliot thinks of how Lana sees the best in everyone, even the worst people.

As Elliot and Kate leave to get settled in their rooms, Kate feels a pang of sadness, and she gets out some cocaine to numb her feelings.

Chapters 8 – 9

Agathi, 45, knows Lana has been in a strange mood lately and is determined to help her have a restful few days on the island. As the housekeeper, it’s Agathi’s responsibility to see things run smoothly. Agathi was once a waitress at Babis’s restaurant, serving Lana and Jason’s table. They’d been looking for a baby-sitter, and she and Lana had hit it off immediately. By the end of lunch, they’d asked her to move to Los Angeles.

Nikos brings by a bag of sea urchins, which Agathi knows Lana will like. But she doesn’t like the way Nikos looked at Lana earlier that day.

Meanwhile, Nikos spends most of his time alone on what he’s come to think of as his island, and feels a little under siege with the presence of all these other people. He was 25 when he came here, and has been living her for 25 years now. Nikos dislikes the ill-tempered, puffed-up Jason. He doesn’t deserve someone like Lana. She’s the only one Nikos doesn’t mind being here.

Nikos is outside the house trying to guide some wasps away from the main house with a skinned rabbit when he sees Kate out by the swimming pool. Jason comes down to talk to her and demands unhappily to know why she came here. Kate is dismissive and swims off. Then, Nikos senses that someone else is out here watching Kate. He quickly returns to the house.

Chapters 10 – 11

After a shower, Elliot goes to Lana’s room and chats with her and Jason.

When Elliot leaves, he listens at the door to their private conversation. Lana chastises Jason for being impolite to Elliot. Jason says that Elliot is in love with her and that Elliot clearly murdered the woman he was living with before. Jason then asks Lana to sign something because he’s “moving things around”. Lana refuses to sign without reading it first, and then suggests that she should send it to someone else, Rupert, to look at first. Jason sounds angry, and tells her not to bother, seeming to have given up on whatever scheme he was planning for the time being.

Later, Kate is in the kitchen as Lana and Agathi prepare dinner. Leo joins them briefly. When he leave, Kate comments that Leo should really have a girlfriend and that perhaps he’s gay or too attached to his mother.

That night, they have a dinner under the stars, full of laughter. The food, prepared by Agathi, is delicious. Afterwards, they sit by the firepit and chat.

Then, Kate asks Agathi to fetch her crystal, a fortune-telling pendant that once belonged to Agathi’s grandmother. Within the family it has a near-mythical status and is said to have magical abilities. After asking it a question, you swing the pendant. If it swings straight, the answer is no. If it swings in a circle, the answer is yes. The pendant is unnervingly accurate, and Kate believes whole-heartedly in its powers. They take turns asking it questions.

Elliot then narrates that in 24 hours one of them would be dead.

Chapters 12 – 16

Elliot thinks about how he started going to group therapy in his mid-thirties and his therapist, Mariana, explained that sometimes when something traumatic happens when people are young, they get frozen or trapped at that stage. If that happens, it’s important to learn to communicate with that scared, unsafe, unheard and unloved child to help liberate him. Mariana tells him to have compassion for and love for that child. Once Elliot began to see himself as that child, he started trying to see the child in other people as well.

But with Jason, he struggles. He can’t see past how he seemed to “believe the only way to succeed in life was to be selfish, ruthless, a liar, and a cheat.”

Elliot awakes in the morning to the sound of Jason out hunting. Lana and Leo are outside tending to a garden that Nikos is helping them to set up. Leo is vegan now and wants to grow food. They hear the sound of Jason’s gunshots ringing out, and Leo regards it distastefully, saying the hunting is disgusting and gross.

Lana then sends Leo to go wake Kate up, since they have a beach picnic planned for that day that Agathi had worked hard on which was Kate’s idea in the first place. Leo attempts to fetch Kate, but she shoos him off. Leo comes back to tell them to leave without her.

Kate, now awake, heads to the beach to meet up with the others. As she passes by Nikos’s cottage, she’s distracted by the sight and smell of a swarm of wasps circling a rabbit carcass. She looks up to see Nikos staring intently at her. She keeps walking.


At the beach, Agathi has prepared a feast for them, though the only vegan fare is some unappetizing sandwiches. Leo supposed Agathi disapproves of his vegan diet. Leo thinks about how he needs to talk to his mom, since he has recently sent off applications to various drama schools, but Lana has busy with her friends. Leo also thinks about how obnoxious Jason is with his hunting, and Leo gets the idea to hide Jason’s guns.

Whey they return from the beach, Jason finds Kate to talk to her. Kate tells Jason that she thinks Lana knows about their affair. Jason tells her that she’s imagining it and darkly warns her not to say anything. Jason’s financial schemes managing other people’s money have collapsed, and he needs Lana’s money to get him out of this mess or else he’ll end up in jail. And he’ll do anything to stay out of jail. He then kisses Kate, but he senses someone is watching.

Chapters 17 – 20

Soon, the weather, once bright and sunny, suddenly grows gloomy and windy. The plan is to go to Mykonos for dinner, despite Agathi’s warning that it’s too winy. Elliot makes himself a martini, and as he does he spots Leo with an armful of Jason’s guns. He watches as Jason takes the guns and deposits them in a chest near the kitchen door. Elliot then checks Jason’s gun room to see that all the shelves are empty. He laughs to himself knowing that Jason is going to flip out.

On the boat, Elliot notes the tense atmosphere. Both Lana and Kate seem upset. The arrival into Mykonos is unbelievably beautiful as always, and they soon disembark at Yialos restaurant’s private jetty. Yialos caters to a very upscale clientele, but the appearance of Lana still attracts everyone’s attention.

Kate is irritated and snippy at seeing the attention that Lana is getting. Despite efforts to defuse the tension, Kate’s mood continues to deteriorate. She excuses herself to the bathroom, and she returns high and clearly looking for a fight with anyone willing to engage.

As Agathi had warned, the wind is even worse on their return trip. By the time they dock again, they are drenched and shaken up. Elliot and Kate go to have a drink afterwards. As Elliot smokes a joint, Leo asks for a hit, and Elliot hands it over. Leo then heads to the beach.

Out on the beach alone, Leo is high and strolling along when he notices the shape of a creature or maybe the devil. He gets a sinking sensation that something bad is about to happen. The creature turns out to just be some sticks and foliage, but Leo feels ill and vomits.

Chapter 21

In the kitchen, Agathi plucks the pigeons Jason shot earlier that day, doing it the way her grandmother had taught her. As the wind howls outside, Agathi thinks about how her grandmother delighted in “the fury” when it arrived. But Agathi senses drama in the air and goes to bed early to avoid it.

Agathi wakes up to hear the sound of people arguing downstairs. Jason is upset, saying that he doesn’t know where Lana is. Kate is upset that Jason is fixated on Lana and not her. Agathi goes back to bed, but she sleeps poorly with the windows shutters slamming against the wall due to the wind, and then she hears three gunshots which snaps her wide awake.

She follows the sound, hearing others nearby as well. In the ruins, there is a body. Leo arrived just before Agathi, who arrives at the same time as Jason. Lana is dead, lying in a pool of blood in the clearing.

Act II

Chapters 1 – 3

Elliot narrates that he tormented by Lana’s death, but before the story continues he clarifies that he has omitted certain things in his recounting of these events. More specifically, there’s more to know regarding his and Lana’s secrets. Elliot’s narration then returns to the beginning of the story, when Lana first conceived of this trip.

Lana had been planning on calling to invite Kate immediately, but a sudden rain caused her to put her phone away and head home instead. When she gets back, Leo tell Lana that he wants to be an actor. Lana is disapproving, saying that Leo has had a fantastic education and that acting would be a waste, and the conversation continues to go downhill from there. The chances of success are slim, and Leo has also never expressed any interest in acting and has never even been in a play. But Leo says he doesn’t care about plays and wants to be a movie star. Leo then says that Lana misses being a movie star, and Lana lies and says she doesn’t, but she knows he’s right.

Lana calls Elliot to ask for advice about Leo, but Elliot is dismissive about Lana’s concerns. He says Leo will get hired because he’s her son, and that he’ll probably change his mind about it soon anyway. He also says Leo has plenty of money from his dad, so it doesn’t matter what he does. Lana doesn’t appreciate any of Elliot’s comments, implying that Leo should loaf off of his inheritance and that he doesn’t need to make something of himself.

Lana misses acting, but what Leo doesn’t know is that Lana retired for him. After Otto’s death, Lana felt the need to retire at the height of her fame in order to raise Leo. She had never felt prioritized as a child and wanted better for him. Mentally, Lana tries to make her peace with her life — a well-adjusted son, a husband she loves. She calms herself, reminding herself of her contentment in her life.

Chapters 4 – 9

However, earlier that day, Agathi had been running errands. When she went to the dry cleaners, the man running it, Sid, had given Agathi an earring that had been left on the lapel of Jason’s suit. When Agathi returns to the house, she gives Lana the errant earring. Lana takes the earring without commenting on whether the earring is hers.

With that, the events of the next few days had been set in motion.

After receiving the earring, Lana feels her world falling apart. She knows the earring isn’t hers, and she wonders if Jason is sleeping with someone else. She goes through his stuff looking for any other clues, but doesn’t find anything. Trying not to go crazy, she ends up going to see Kate, her oldest and dearest friend. At the stage-door, the old man minding it recognizes Lana and lets her in.

Lana goes to wait in Kate’s dressing room. As she waits, she sees a earring matching the one Agathi had given her in Kate’s makeup bag.

When she goes home, Lana knows she needs to confront Jason, but is unsure of how to do it. She wonders if this could all be a misunderstanding, but deep down she’s always suspected something was going on. Kate met Jason first and they’d gone on a few dates. When Jason met Lana, though, he fell for her, and Kate graciously stepped aside.


Feeling miserable, Lana considers jumping from the roof, but her dark thoughts are interrupted by a text from Elliot inviting her to grab a drink.

Elliot recalls Lana showing up at 11:30 PM that night, seeing her in her state of distress and wanting to help to ease her pain. With him, she falls apart, sobbing as she incoherently tells her tale. Elliot admits that he always suspected it, but he didn’t feel like it was his place to say anything.

He reminds her that whatever is between Jason and Kate is not love and it’s not something that’s built to last. Elliot then gets the idea that he’s going to help her confront them and that they should do it on the island. That way, they’ll be trapped and forced to confront their misdeeds.

Chapters 10 – 14

The next day, Elliot sits next to her as she invites Kate, and their plan is in motion.

For the next few days, Elliot doesn’t see Lana. Then, when he gets to Aura, he senses that Lana is avoiding him. It wasn’t into the morning after their initial arrival that Elliot was finally able to speak to Lana alone. He asks her about it, and Lana asks him why he’s doing all of this. Elliot says that he’s her friend, and Lana wordlessly swims off.

After the picnic that day, Lana and Elliot had hidden behind a tree and watched as Jason and Kate kissed. She collapsed onto the floor after seeing this. Afterwards, she went into the gun room and took a handgun back with her upstairs. Agathi sensed that something was wrong and checked in on Lana. Agathi then left her fortune-telling pendant on Lana’s dressing room table. Seeing it, Lana picked it up, mouthed a silent question and the pendant began to spin in a circle.

Soon, the winds — the fury — started.

Chapters 15 – 18

That night, after the dinner in Mykonos, Kate had been in a terrible mood. Lana suggested ending the night and Jason agreed with her, but Kate insisted on staying and demanded that Jason stay with her. Elliot realized then that Jason was the person Kate was angry with. Lana understood what was going on, too, telling Jason that he needed to make a choice: her or Kate?

The situation reminds Elliot of something Barbara had once said, and he smiles. This pisses Jason off who asks him if he thinks this is funny and then lunges at him. When Jason calms himself, Lana has left. Jason stalks out soon after, and Elliot tells Kate that Jason is never going to leave Lana for her. Kate then reminds that Elliot that even if Lana left Jason she’d never even consider being with Elliot. When Elliot is unable to hide the hurt in his eyes, Kate laughs at him.

Nikos is relaxing in his cottage when Lana shows up at his door, asking for help. She has a proposal for him, and offers him the diamond necklace she’s wearing as payment. However, he doesn’t want it. He wants a kiss. She consents, and Nikos tells her that he’ll do whatever she wants.

Shortly after, Lana leaves his cottage and is sitting in the ruins in thought when the gunshots ring out, leaving her in a pool of blood.

Chapters 19 – 22

First Leo arrives, then Agathi and Jason, and then Elliot arrives on the scene. Kate appears last, asking what happened. Leo is on the ground, cradling his mother. Jason tells Agathi to call an ambulance and the police, and then he goes into the house to get a gun. Leo runs after him.

When Jason sees that all his guns are gone, Leo admits that he took them, but when Leo shows him the chest where he stashed them, it’s also empty. Nikos comes in holding a gun, which he says is his.

Elliot then reports that the police won’t be here for at least five hours because of the winds.


It’s decided that Jason, Elliot and Nikos should search the island for an intruder. They do, but find no one.

(An an aside, Elliot narrates imagining a scene if an investigator had shown up, how he might establish the facts and who might be questioned. The investigator would have established that they were all separated and none of them have an alibi, so any of them could have done it.

The investigator would also have established that they all loved Lana, but there were motives. Elliot knew she had left him significant money in her will. Agathi as well, but she was intensely loyal. Jason certainly had a financial motive. And Kate had an emotional motive. As for Leo, his mother not letting him go to drama school was probably a pretty weak motive, but maybe. Also, Nikos could have been isolated and obsessed enough to do it. Finally, the last possibility is an unknown arrival on the island.

But, as he explains, this is not an Agatha Christie novel and there’s no investigator here to lay this all out. By the time the police arrived in the morning, they already knew who the killer was.)

Act III

Chapters 1 – 3

The narrator then explains that in order to really tell this story, he has to go back and explain how he and Lana met. He says that he was someone else at the time. (He also explains that he’s going to writes this part in third person, because it allows him to have empathy for himself.)

As a kid, his home life was bad, and at school he was bullied mercilessly. He found respite from his miseries in theater, being cast in the school play when he was 12. He started skipping school because of the bullies, hiding out in various places like the mall or the movie theater. At the theater, he encountered Lana through her movies. She was a few years older than him, and he was transfixed by her on the screen.

Time passed, and eventually he ran away from home a few days after his 17th birthday. He went to London, aspiring to be an actor, but he wasn’t a particularly good actor nor was he handsome enough to get away with mediocre acting. He soon ran out of money and desperate, unspeakable things for money.

One desolate and lonely night, he meets Barbara West in a pub. She approaches him, and they have a few drinks. Eventually, she takes him home with her. Eventually, he ended up just sticking around. It was transaction, he was used and in exchange he had a roof over his head and he was “educated” by being around her and being connected to her circles.

He tries harder and harder to be like these people and to becomes someone else. He eventually adopts the name Elliot Chase — a name cribbed from the book Private Lives by Noël Coward. Then, one evening Lana appears.

Chapters 4 – 6

The night, Elliot met Lana, he and Barbara had gone to see Kate in the opening of a play, Hedda Gabler. They attend the first-night party afterwards, and he catches a glimpse of Lana and can’t quite believe it. When Barbara refuses to introduce him, he marches up to Lana and tells her “I love you”. Lana laughs and repeats the words to him.

Elliot is eager to talk to Lana, and the mention of Kate as a mutual friend visibly relaxes her. They soon agree to meet for a walk, and he asks for her number. (Barbara of course also noticed with displeasure his interest in Lana, and Elliot notes that she made him pay dearly for it.)

During their walk, Lana tells him that “I can’t give you what you want, you know. I can’t give you what you’re looking for” and says that she knows he’s looking for love. Elliot insists that he only wants her friendship. In retrospect, he wonders if she just meant that she was sad and lost at the time — and not necessarily that she was only open to being friends.

Elliot continues to meet up with Lana to walk around. It blooms into a friendship, though Elliot wonders if they were ever just friends. They eventually start meeting up at her house and he soon feels like part of the family.

Chapters 7 – 9

One night, Elliot opens up to Lana about his childhood. She listens to him and cries for him. Then, he tells her he loves her, and he kisses her. He’s soon determined to propose to Lana. In his mind, she would say yes and he’d immediately leave Barbara to be with her. He even buys a ring — something cheap, with the intention of replacing it with something appropriate someday. He goes to a gallery opening to meet up with her, but Kate introduces them both to Jason that night.

Lana barely acknowledges Elliot’s presence that night, and instead she’s all over Jason. Elliot feels dejected. When he goes home to Barbara, Barbara tells him that she met up with Lana that day and told her the truth about him — what his real name is and where he’s from. Barbara also says she warned Lana that he’s after her money, just like he’s after Barbara’s money. That night, Elliot imagined killing Barbara.

Soon Barbara actually does pass away, and Lana’s whirlwind romance with Jason results in their marriage a few short months later. Also, Elliot and Lana’s friendship manages to survive the things Barbara said. Despite the marriage, Elliot still believed they’d end up together. He figured it would disintegrate quickly. Even when it didn’t, he held on to the belief they’d be together in the end.

Chapters 10 – 12

Elliot finds out about Jason’s affair with Kate entirely by chance. He happens to see her walking out of a pub, Coach & Horses, with Jason trailing behind her and they part ways. After that, Elliot follows Kate and sees them meet up at that same pub, shamelessly kissing and drinking.

Elliot starts to surveil them, learning more about it. He comes to see that Kate is a romantic and wants a real meaningful relationship with Jason. Jason does not want the same thing. It eats away at Kate that she’s seeing her best friend’s husband, and Kate wants him to simply leave Lana to be with her. If it were up to Kate, the three of them would simply have it out, but Jason does not want that to happen.

Elliot in turn starts trying to drop hints to Lana to help her pick up on what’s going on. He doesn’t want to tell her directly, knowing that she might disbelieve him or question his motives. Instead, he prefers if he comes to the realization herself. At one point, he attempts to engineer a run-in, but getting Lana anywhere discreetly is a problem. Finally, after many other attempts, Elliot comes upon the earring idea — stealing an earring from Kate’s bedroom and pinning it only Jason’s lapel.

Chapters 13 – 15

The night Lana went over to Elliot’s place after the discovery of the affair, Elliot is concerned to learn that Lana didn’t intend to divorce Jason. She still wanted to work things out with him. Elliot then realized that he needed to completely destroy Jason for Lana to be free from him. That night, Elliot begins to plot out a plan.


The night of the murder, after the gunshots and the discovery, Elliot and Agathi are left alone with the body. Jason, Leo and Kate are inside figuring out the situation with the guns (which Elliot hid). Agathi is about to call the police, but Elliot stops her. Instead, Lana awakes, and they reassure Agathi that this was all planned.

However, Agathi looks upset, and she stalks off with Lana trailing behind her. Elliot tells Lana she needs to stay, but she ignores him. The plan then goes to hell.

Act IV

Chapters 1 – 4

The plan that Elliot had come up with was to test Jason and Kate’s relationship. The point, Elliot had told Lana, was to fake Lana’s death and cast suspicion on Jason. Elliot assured her that they would immediately crumble. For Lana, the appeal of this plan was the prospect of ending their affair.

To make it work, they needed to ensure Jason and Kate didn’t get too close to the body, so it was necessary to loop in Leo so he could help by running to hold her. They decided against telling Agathi and Nikos.


After Lana ran off after Agathi to calm her down, Lana had ended up in the house and went up the stairs, looking for Agathi. Meanwhile, Kate and Jason were dealing with the missing guns. From the top of the staircase, Lana watched as they dealt with the situation, realizing with a broken heart how unmoved Jason seemed to be by her death. Lana then goes to the bathroom and throws up.

When Lana returns to her bedroom, Agathi is waiting for her. Agathi chastises her for playing a cruel game, and she says that her heart broke when she thought Lana had died. Agathi is still angry, but Lana tells Agathi that she loves her and she needs her help.

Meanwhile, Elliot is sent with Nikos and Jason in search of a potential murderous intruder that he knows doesn’t exist. When he returns, he finds Lana in the house. Lana says that she wants this whole production to stop, but Elliot says they’re not done yet. When Lana says that she’s realized that Jason doesn’t care that she’s dead, Elliot tells Lana that he loves her and has always wondered what would have happened if he’d proposed that night. Lana laughs bitterly and says that nothing would have happened and accuses Elliot of having pushed Barbara down the stairs.

Elliot is upset at her accusation and walks out, but he’s still determined to carry out his plan.

Chapters 5 – 6

Elliot runs to Jason. To get him out of the way, he tells Jason that the police are on their way and that they should meet them at the jetty. Elliot says he’ll meet him there, since he’s going to go fetch Kate.

Then, Elliot prepares himself for a very tricky acting job. He knocks on Kate’s door and tells her they didn’t find any intruders. Then, when Kate says she thinks it was Nikos, Elliot lies and says Nikos is dead. He says that Jason was with Nikos when Nikos apparently fell by accident off a cliff, but he doesn’t know what really happened since he wasn’t there.

Elliot continues to say that it had to be Jason, and he thinks Kate is in danger. He tells Kate that Jason is in a bad financial situation and will likely go to jail if he isn’t bailed out (which, Elliot notes, is true), so he was desperate for Lana’s money. Kate protests a little, but she probably knew on some level he was a crook.

When Kate insists that Jason would never kill Lana, Elliot agrees with her. Elliot then tells Kate that Lana was wearing Kate’s shawl that night. He thinks Jason shot Lana, thinking it was Kate. Jason must’ve been afraid Kate would expose their affair, Elliot says. Jason then killed Nikos so he could frame him without Nikos being around to object.

Kate looks hurt and upset after Elliot tells her this. She’s determined to go find Jason to talk to him. Before she leaves, Elliot presses a gun into her hand, which he claims is for her own safety.

Chapters 7 – 10

When Kate leaves, Elliot follows her. She heads toward the jetty where Jason is. Elliot wonders if she’ll really do it — if he could really engineer Jason’s death without having to pull the trigger himself.

(Elliot then describes the scene as he envisioned it — but at the end he says that’s not what really happened:

On the jetty, Jason notices the gun in Kate’s hand. She asks him if he killed Lana, and Kate tells him what Elliot said about Kate being the actual target. Jason denies it, but Kate clearly doesn’t believe him. Jason comes towards her to disarm her. She tells him to stop, but he doesn’t. Then she shoots again and again until she hits him. )

What ends up actually happening is that as Kate goes onto the jetty, but then Nikos comes up behind Elliot with a gun, ordering him to walk with him. Elliot tries to refuse, but Nikos is insistent. Nikos orders him up the jetty steps until they’re gathered there with Kate and Jason. The moment Kate sees Nikos alive and well, she starts accusing Elliot of being a snake and a liar.

Agathi then comes running towards them as Kate accuses Elliot of shooting Lana, citing the millions she left him in her will as the motive. Elliot waits for Agathi to tell them that Lana is still alive, but Agathi says nothing.

Finally, Elliot tells them that he and Lana planned the whole evening and that Lana’s death was a hoax. Elliot asks Agathi to back him up, but Agathi calls him a murderer. Jason then punches Elliot. Jason and Kate seem to decide amongst themselves that they should kill Elliot as justice for killing Lana. They’ll say that he shot her and then shot himself.

Then, they put him on his knees and put the gun in Elliot’s hand, pointing towards his head. Jason puts his hand over Elliot’s, instructing him to shoot. Elliot screams for Lana as Kate slips her hand over Elliot’s and pulls on the trigger.

Act V

Chapters 1 – 3

The story then jumps back to the night Elliot and Lana conceived of their plan. Lana had fallen asleep on Elliot’s couch. Meanwhile, Elliot had fallen asleep at his desk, writing out the details of their scheme. Lana looks at Elliot lovingly, thinking of the way he has always cared for her until she sees what he’s writing — stuff about Jason and Kate and a gun. Lana then takes the notebook and reads it from the beginning and it leaves her cold. She takes the notebook and leaves.

She is completely creeped out by his writings, all written from her point of view in first person like some type of demented writing exercise, as if he’s aware of all her thoughts and feelings. Then, there’s the parts about Jason and Kate, surveilling their meetings and encounters. Finally, there was Elliot’s deranged plan to drive Kate to kill Jason.

Lana feels emotionally exhausted. First, from the betrayal from Jason and Kate. And then, from the breach of trust between her and Elliot. She recalls Barbara’s warnings that Elliot is dangerous and crazy.


Tired of the lies and deception, Lana goes to Kate and point-blank asks her about the affair. Kate immediately admits it’s true and apologizes, and the two women talk for hours. By the end, the two women manage to reconcile, and Lana tells Kate about Elliot’s plan to kill Jason. They talk about what an evil psychopath Elliot is. Lana tells Kate that they need to destroy Elliot or else he’ll hurt Jason.

Then, they decide to come up with a plan together.

By the time Elliot meets with Lana to invite Kate to the island getaway, the plan had already been put in motion.

Chapters 4 – 5

Lana ropes everyone in on the plan — Agathi and Leo — but not Jason. She says it’s his punishment.

Afterwards (after Lana’s fake death, the search for an intruder, Elliot being forced to shoot himself), Elliot passes out, but he’s still alive. Kate wakes him up and tells them it was a blank. Jason is completely confused. Soon, Lana and Leo come walking up and everyone is gathered at the jetty.

Lana tosses Elliot’s notebook at him, and she tells him to stay away from her and her family.

Chapters 6 – 7

Everyone else walks off, leaving Elliot alone on the jetty. He goes to sit on the beach, thinking about how his plan went haywire. He feels upset, like that bullied boy as a child. He feels a fury brewing inside him.

The group ends up back at the house. Lana thinks about how she wants to let go of all these relationships that have disappointed her and just let them all go.

Elliot follows after, and he sees Agathi pouring champagne for all of them as they congratulate themselves on carrying out their plan. Elliot walks up to Lana and shoots her three times.

Epilogue

In the Epilogue, Elliot is now in jail. His therapist, Mariana, comes to visit him and encourages him to write down his story. She also recommends that he speak to another inmate there who is a former colleague of hers, Theo.

Elliot has one last confession. He says that Barbara West actually wrote the play that he’s known for. He found the script in her belongings after her death and he pawned it off as his own.

Finally, he notes that he won’t make it out of here alive, perhaps indicating that he plans on killing himself.

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