World Italian language rights sold to Le Edizioni Assassine, Milan, Italy
No Fury Like That is a one-of-a kind literary thriller about life and death and the power of second chances. The novel takes you on a fast-paced, funny, adventurous ride, exploring love, the meaning of life, friendship, revenge, family and the transformation of a character under trying circumstance. No Fury Like That is about how a person can change and grow, and how different things will come to mean more than others; friendship is more important than success, love is more important than money and family is more important than power.
Julia Redner has to die before she can find these things out for herself – but is she really dead or is she being given the opportunity to rethink her life and solve an intricate puzzle of murders?
“Imagine if characters from The Devil Wears Prada got trapped in Sartre’s play No Exit, where “hell is other people.” No Fury Like Thatuses the lens of female souls stuck in purgatory to examine loss, love, rage, angst, and what there really is to live for. Alternately funny, melancholy, philosophical, and raunchy, it’s a wild ride and another gutsy novel from de Nikolits.”
— John Oughton, author of Death by Triangulation
“Suspenseful, surprising, thrilling and at times laugh-out-loud funny, No Fury Like That takes you on page-turning ride into another world—with Lisa de Nikolits’s skillful writing keeping you belted in.”
—Jacqueline Kovacs, Magazine Editor, Metroland Media
“Julia Redner seemed to have it all: stunning good looks, fantastic job, and enough money and perks to live in the style she’d grown accustomed to. But after it all went down and she finds herself in the afterlife, Julia realizes that she didn’t have a single friend and now has a whack of unfinished business to settle. No Fury Like That is a cautionary tale about the perils of rising to the top at any cost. It’s also a smart, satisfying read that’s laced with humour, peopled with quirky characters and moves along at a fast clip. Readers will root for its plucky heroine, hoping she’ll get a shot at a second chance. Another spellbinder from Lisa de Nikolits!”
—Rosemary McCracken, author of the Pat Tierney mysteries
“Afraid to die? Worse is yet to come! Julia, a ruthless business woman, suddenly finds herself in a Purgatory not remembering if she has died, or how. Left with no choice but to make friends with other lost souls, she never dreams she will become not only their saviour but also an avenger. In this brilliantly written book, you will be a holding your breath when Julia realises she should have made things right at the primary crime scene where it all started—Earth.”
—Suzana Tratnik, author of Games with Greta
“No Fury Like That is de Nikolits at her best. She has taken the question, “What if you had a second chance?” and has given her imagination free rein to answer it. The result is a novel full of colourful characters who grapple with their lives, their deaths, and what it is to be human. By the final page the reader has not only witnessed Julia Redner’s metamorphic journey, but has also taken a personal step forward.”
—Liz Bugg, author of the Calli Barnow Mystery Series
“Lisa de Nikolits is one of my most fascinating discoveries of Canadian literature. Her writing is fresh and attractive, but deep in ideas and thoughtful provoking. No Fury Like That is an example of this duality: under the appearance of a paranormal story set in the Purgatory we face a brilliant psychological exploration of human soul questioning our certitudes about the world: Who we really are? How to find a responsibility about our past? What are the implications of our acts? Big questions presented through a captivating prose displayed in a perfect plot that catch the reader from the very beginning. De Nikolits knows how to combine the oppressive atmosphere of Beckett or Kafka with the contemporaneous forms of thriller-narrative, always with a touch of humor and sensibility. And of course, with an extraordinary capacity to capture the essence of human emotions.”
—Miguel Angel Hernandez, author of Escape Attempt
“Settling in? Great! So, Julia, what do you think brings you here?”
I look at him. “What do you mean?” I slur, fearful that an obscenity will fly out if I open my mouth any wider.
“To Purgatory. Why not Hell? Why not Heaven? Why to this place of in-between? You don’t strike me as an in-betweener.”
“I’m not,” I mumble. “I don’t know what I’m doing here.”
“Hmmm.” He is seated in a grey wingback chair, wearing his beige corduroy trousers and his expression is earnest. His close-set eyes peer at me, his hands are clasped and his feathers are aflutter. “You don’t remember anything before you achieved consciousness in Purgatory?”
I shake my head. “Where’s my husband?” I ask.
Cedar shakes his head. “I can’t tell you.”
“But you do know.”
He nods. “But it’s vital that you remember on your own. I can’t impede your progress.” He falls silent and leans back in his chair, his hands steepled in prayer.
“How about we do a little exercise?” he asks. “I’m going to encourage you to open your mind, close your eyes, and listen to my breathing guidance. Can you do that?”
I nod, still not trusting myself to say anything.
“Close your eyes, breathe in for the count of five. Hold for five and out for five. I’ll guide you.”
We do this for a while and I start to feel sleepy.
“What do you remember, Julia?” he asks softly. “Before you came here, what do you remember? Were you making a cup of tea? Were you on the telephone to your mother? Were you stroking your kitty cat?”
My eyes fly open. Cat? “I had a cat?”
“Concentrate, Julia. Let’s start again.”
I sigh. In for five, hold, out for five.
The image of a cat comes to my mind. I see a large, incredibly grumpy, beautifully ugly cat with a squashed face and a pug nose. An immensely hairy, immensely fat, immensely angry cat. I can’t keep my eyes shut. “Cat. Oh.”
I get up and pace around the room.
Cedar doesn’t say anything, he just watches me.
I fold my arms across my chest. “Yes,” I say. “A cat.”
Before I can stop myself, tears are pouring down my face.
“Lady Marmalade. But I called him Duchess. He was my baby. My joy. I got him from a pet store. I swore I’d never buy from them, such a rip-off, you know, and pet store animals are all demented or deformed in some way. Too much inbreeding or something or they keep them in cages too long. But I was in a mall and I walked past him and he meowed at me and I stopped and I couldn’t help myself. I got them to take him out of his cage and he climbed up my shirt, and I paid two thousand dollars for a kitten, right then and there.”
By now, my nose is running and Cedar gets up and hands me a box of Kleenex.
I grab a fistful, blow my nose and continue.
“But he was demented, of course he was. He peed everywhere. He’d go right in front of me, on the carpets. He’d saunter into the room, give me a filthy look, and pee. But what could I do? I loved him. So I cleaned up after him or, I tried to. He peed in places I couldn’t find until I discovered wiring and cables had been eaten away by his puddles. He could have started a fire or something.”
“I took him to the vet, and we put him on drugs and they helped, we drugged the shit, oh sorry Cedar—” I look at him, my face wet with tears and I stand there, waiting to be bounced out the room but Cedar just nods and I carry on.
“And it helped, it lessened the problem. And he was my baby, my buddy, my friend, for nine and a half years, and then he got sick; his liver started to give out. I tried everything. I took him to homeopathy. I must have spent thousands of dollars on him, maybe even tens of thousands, I’m not exaggerating, but in the end, oh, in the end, nothing helped.”
I sink down next to Cedar, sobbing. I am shaking and howling in a way I’ve never cried before. “He died. I held him and he died. His heavy, grumpy, angry body just gave out. One minute he was purring, and the next, he left me. He got light as a feather and I didn’t know where his weight went, but I knew it was his anger and it was gone. And his anger was like my anger, and my anger is what grounds me. Without it, I too would be nothing and I’d float away, and I still miss him so much.”
I am wailing and Cedar is rubbing my back like I’m a baby and I don’t care. Snot runs down my face and I cry like my heart is broken. And just when I think I can’t cry any more, I start all over again, wailing that ungodly sound and Cedar sits there patiently, rubbing me.
Finally, I get to hiccupping. “I loved him so much,” I say. “There wasn’t a day I didn’t miss him. I had him cremated and I have an urn and I talk to him every day. I ask him why he left me. I know that sounds stupid but I do. I talk to him every day, so if you’re asking me if I was talking to my kitty cat before I came here, yes, I most likely was. He was the only friend I could rely on in this world.”
“But he left you,” Cedar points out.
“He did,” I wail. “Why? He wasn’t even ten years old. Didn’t he love me? Didn’t I make him happy? I tried so hard.”
I start to cry again.
“This is excellent progress,” Cedar says and hands me the box of Kleenex. I blow my nose again. I am exhausted.
”We’ve done enough for the day. What you should do now,” Cedar says kindly, “is have a lie-down in the Rest Room. Would you like me to walk you there?”
I nod. “Yes, please.”
I get up and touch my swollen face. “I don’t want anybody to see me like this,” I say, and Cedar laughs.
“You are so concerned with all the wrong things. But don’t worry, we won’t bump into anyone. I can arrange that.”
I don’t ask him what he means. I let him lead me down the corridor, past several doors until he finally opens the door to the Rest Room. He guides me through the foyer and into an enclosed circled curtain and I lie down and he rubs my back.
I start crying again. And this time, I am not even sure what for.