I received this book for free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Fractured by Catherine McKenzie
Published by Lake Union Publishing on October 4, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Crime, Law & Crime, Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Stalking
Source: TLC Book Tours
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Julie Prentice and her family move across the country to the idyllic Mount Adams district of Cincinnati, hoping to evade the stalker who’s been terrorizing them ever since the publication of her bestselling novel, The Murder Game. Since Julie doesn’t know anyone in her new town, when she meets her neighbour John Dunbar, their instant connection brings measured hope for a new beginning. But she never imagines that a simple, benign conversation with him could set her life spinning so far off course.
We know where you live…
After a series of misunderstandings, Julie and her family become the target of increasingly unsettling harassment. Has Julie’s stalker found her, or are her neighbours out to get her, too? As tension in the neighborhood rises, new friends turn into enemies, and the results are deadly.
I really enjoy psychological thrillers, and this new-to-me author Catherine McKenzie did not disappoint with her new novel, Fractured. Set in Cincinnati, Ohio, this book features a lawyer turned novelist, Julie Apple, who moves with her family from the Northwest after being stalked by a former acquaintance once her debut novel blows up big. Julie, her husband, and her young twins are looking for a fresh start, and they’re sure they’ve found it in the picturesque part of Cincinnati that they’ve chosen to buy a home in. But once they move in and find a welcome basket full of goodies along with a list of rules for living in the neighborhood left by a self-appointed president of the blocks, Julie’s not so sure that living here is going to be so easy–especially after a few disastrous neighborhood dinners hosted at rotating houses.
She meets John Dunbar from across the street and the share an instant connection, becoming fast friends. Julie’s husband is glad that she now has someone to run with in the early mornings, and John’s wife grows suspicious and spiteful that a woman who wrote a book called “The Murder Game” is hanging around with her husband–especially when he seems to be so engrossed in everything Julie does. Soon the neighborhood president gets involved with Julie’s life, making it harder for them to enjoy the lovely neighborhood, and strange things start to happen–leaving Julie to wonder if her stalker has found her even though they’d moved across the country, or if she has made enemies out of someone closer to home. Then an accident occurs, taking the life of one of the people who live in the neighborhood, and everyone is pointing the finger at everyone else. Who died and who’s ultimately to blame?
Told in both Julie and John’s points of view as well as in chapters from the present (the day of the Grand Jury meeting to decide to indict or not) and from the past (from when Julie and her family move in leading up to the accident). I really enjoyed the back and forth of the timelines and the slow release of information. It wasn’t annoying and everything was well-paced and plotted. The mystery and suspense of who died and who was involved in the accident had me turning the pages anxiously throughout the book.
I give Fractured a 4.5 out of 5. I could definitely relate to Julie’s anxiety of living in a community where someone was trying to force rules for living there when they had no real authority, except for the blind following of those other neighbors that would rather do as she says than go against her. Living somewhere that has a Homeowner’s Association is just like that, but official. This is a story of how people can turn against others–even those they claim to love–while trying to hold onto a thread of their control. Fractured was my first Catherine McKenzie book, but I’ll definitely be on the look out for more by this author.
About Catherine McKenzie
A graduate of McGill University in History and Law, Catherine practices law in Montreal, where she was born and raised. Catherine’s novels, SPIN, ARRANGED, FORGOTTEN, HIDDEN and SMOKE, are all international bestsellers and have been translated into numerous languages, including French, German, Portuguese, Polish, Turkish, Slovakian and Czech. HIDDEN was also a #1 Amazon bestseller and a Digital Bookworld bestseller for five weeks. SMOKE was named one of the Top 100 Books in 2015 by Amazon and one of the Best Books of October by Goodreads, and was an Amazon bestseller.
ARRANGED has been optioned for film, and SPIN has been optioned for a television series. A short film of ARRANGED was made in 2014 and won a Canadian National Screen Institute Award. Catherine was on set while they filmed it. It was one of the cooler experiences of her life.
Catherine’s sixth novel, FRACTURED, will be published by Lake Union on October 4, 2016.
An avid skier and runner, Catherine climbed the Grand Teton in 2014.
And if you want to know how she has time to do all that, the answer is: robots.
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