Released on 19 June 2014.

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The Fever

3.12 based on 15874 ratings & 2267 reviews on

2015 Long-listed

The Folio Prize


Her hands flying up, she grabbed her throat, her body jolting to one side.

Then, in one swoop, her desk overturned, clattering to the floor.

And with it Lise. Her head twisting, slamming into the tiles, her bright red face turned up, mouth teeming with froth.

“Lise,” sighed Mrs. Chalmers, too far in front to see. “What is your problem?”

The Nashes are a close-knit family. Tom, a popular teacher, is father to the handsome, roguish Eli and his younger sister Deenie, serious and sweet. But their seeming stability is thrown into chaos when two of Deenie’s friends become violently ill, and rumours of a dangerous outbreak sweep through the whole community.

As hysteria swells and as more girls succumb, tightly held secrets emerge that threaten to unravel the world Tom has built for his kids, and destroy friendships, families, and the town’s fragile idea of security.

The Fever is a chilling story about guilt, family secrets, and the lethal power of desire.

In the media

The lives of teenage girls are dangerous, beautiful things in Abbott's stunning seventh novel . . . Abbott expertly withholds just enough information to slowly ratchet up the suspense until the reader is as breathless as Deenie at the arrival of each new text message or cryptic phone call and the school vibrates with half-formed theories and speculations . . . Nothing should be taken at face value in this jealousy- and hormone-soaked world except that Abbott is certainly our very best guide.
Kirkus (starred review)
A hugely gripping psychological thriller
Irish News
Remember your baffling, insecurity-stricken, traumatic teenage years? Well, add to the flurry of hormones an inexplicable violent illness that sweeps through the school and you find yourself caught in the delicious mystery of Megan Abbott's latest high-school thriller . . . The context of a mid-American town and the intricately described background details supply just the right amount of normality to make the drama all the more enticing . . . the subtle, yet undeniable, sexual tension was particularly well done . . . I wouldn't want to be a teenager again, but it's surprisingly thrilling for just a few sordid hours.