Fractured by Catherine McKenzie
Paperback: 362 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (October 4, 2016)
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours
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 neighbor 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 neighbors out to get her, too? As tension in the neighborhood rises, new friends turn into enemies, and the results are deadly.
“Catherine McKenzie has quickly become a master of the psychological thriller, and Fractured is no exception. A taut, finely wrought novel that had me holding my breath from the very first page, unsure of where the twists and turns would take me but looking forward to all of them.” —Allison Winn Scotch, New York Times bestselling author of Time of Your Life and In Twenty Years
“A contentious past leads a young couple to move thousands of miles from home to an exemplary family community when things go terribly wrong in Catherine McKenzie’s latest tour de force, Fractured. When tragedy strikes, everyone is a suspect, as McKenzie masterfully weaves together the stories of Julie and John: strangers who become friends, neighbors who become enemies. A tightly drawn narrative that begs the question: How much can we really know about those living closest to us? Truly riveting!” —Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl and Pretty Baby
“Beautifully plotted. Breathlessly paced. Fractured is a difficult book to put down. But its insights into love, marriage, and obsession ensure that you’ll be thinking about it long after you do. This is Catherine McKenzie at her best.” —Matthew Norman, author of We’re All Damaged and Domestic Violets
Fractured is the first novel by Catherine McKenzie that I have read. The premise of the novel sounded promising and I looked forward to reading the book. However, when I saw the cover I became a bit worried. I know better than to judge a book by the cover, but I also admit that I do it sometimes. This time ended up being a very pleasant surprise. I started reading just to see what I was in for and couldn't put the book down.
Julie Prentice and her family move across the country to get away from a stalker that has been harassing the family. They move to what seems to be an idyllic town in Ohio. It soon becomes apparent that even the ideal little town has its own problems. The first is the extremely annoying busybody - Cindy Sutton - who wants to control every little thing in the neighborhood. Julie and Cindy don't exactly hit it off and things go downhill from there.
It doesn't take long before strange things start to happen and Julie is afraid that her stalker has found her again - or could there be a new stalker? It is pretty clear that Julie is still very shaken by the stalker situation and is very much on edge. Some people around her doubt her version of events, though.
The story is told from alternating narratives of Julie and a neighbor, John Dunbar, who lives across the street from Julie. The alternating narrative that starts at "Today" and jumps in time to tell the story from each point of view. The author does a great job of slowly creating tension and doubt in the reader about the reliability of both narrators and the events themselves.
I quickly found myself caught up in the story and the attempt to figure out what was going on and who was reliable and who wasn't. Julie has a hard time fitting into the culture of the neighborhood. After some incidents that are blown way out of proportion and the awful Cindy taking the initiative to cause problems for Julie, things quickly become tense and suspicious. Is Julie really being stalked? Is she paranoid? Is John really the normal guy he seems to be? What is their relationship? There are so many questions that need to be answered. The author is pretty sneaky at dropping bits of information, false information, and generally keeps the reader on edge.
I found Fractured to be a well-written, fast-paced page turner. Even though it isn't a murder mystery per se, it held my attention like it was. There are also some really intriguing questions about the inspiration for Julie's novel. Such a fun book! I would wholeheartedly recommend Fractured.
About Catherine McKenzie
Catherine McKenzie, a graduate of McGill University, practices law in Montreal, where she was born and raised. An avid skier and runner, Catherine’s novels Spin, Arranged, Forgotten, and Hidden are all international bestsellers and have been translated into numerous languages. Hidden was an Amazon #1 bestseller and a Digital Book World bestseller. Her fifth novel, Smoke, was an Amazon bestseller, a Goodreads Best Book for October 2015, and an Amazon Top 100 Book of 2015.
Connect with Catherine
Catherine McKenzie’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS
Tuesday, October 4th: You Can Read Me Anything
Tuesday, October 4th: Chick Lit Central
Wednesday, October 5th: Open Book Society
Thursday, October 6th: Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Friday, October 7th: Palmer’s Page Turners
Monday, October 10th: Write Read Life
Wednesday, October 12th: Caryn, The Book Whisperer
Thursday, October 13th: Reading is my Superpower
Thursday, October 13th: Stranded in Chaos
Friday, October 14th: A Book Geek
Monday, October 17th: Luxury Reading
Tuesday, October 18th: Booked on a Feeling
Wednesday, October 19th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Wednesday, October 19th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, October 20th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Friday, October 21st: Not in Jersey
Monday, October 24th: 5 Minutes for Books
Monday, October 24th: A Bookish Way of Life
Tuesday, October 25th: Bewitched Bookworms
Wednesday, October 26th: Wall to Wall Books
Thursday, October 27th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Friday, October 28th: Book Chatter