Published: October 4, 2016
Source: Lake Union Publishing
You might enjoy this book if you like: "Girl" books, domestic dramas, truth vs. fiction stories
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.
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.
I've been in a pretty bad reading slump--as in I couldn't bear to even pick up a book. I had this one sitting in my TBR pile for a while, but I had read another book by Catherine McKenzie in the past that didn't resonate with me (I can't even remember which one) and I just wasn't too excited to read this one.
And then I picked it up.
I read this book in two days, which never happens in my life anymore. Once I started this book, I just could not stop. While I've never thoughts of myself as much of a Thriller fan, I've had great luck with that genre--and Fractured has been the best of this latest batch. I don't know if I can actually call it one of the "Girl" books, only because one of the central characters is a man, but it definitely does have that feel. Within the first five pages, I knew that something had happened and that I shouldn't trust anyone. And, my friends, THAT is how a thriller should start.
I will admit that I have a hard time reviewing thrillers because I really, really don't want to get into the plot. So, I will leave it at this: I knew when the book started that something had happened but I didn't know what that was until well into the novel--and I didn't know who had done what to whom until almost the last page.
McKenzie's characters are superb. Frankly, they are all a mess. In fact, they are wonderfully messy. Julie is both infuriating and sympathetic. While John clearly has an aura smarminess, I still wanted to like him. Hanna was infuriating and yet I could still relate to her. And, Cindy--well, I know more a Cindy or two. She may seem a bit trope-ish but, trust me, people like her do exist!
McKenzie's prose is clear, but she is still able to slip in subtle clues that the reader may or may not pick up. Sometimes when I read thrillers, I feel like I need to concentrate harder than I normally would so that I can find all the twists and turns the author takes. That was not the case here. While no character is reliable, I still found McKenzie's plotting to be easy to follow.
Fractured was an entertaining and engrossing read. And it was the book that yanked me out of one of my worst reading slumps and, for that, I am grateful to Catherine McKenzie. This is a book that I would recommend to just about anyone looking for a fast-paced read that will keep you glued to the pages.
I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review. I received no other compensation for this book.
Thanks to Lake Union Publishing, I have a finished copy of Fractured to give away to one of my readers. This giveaway will run until midnight (Pacific time) October 10th and is open to readers in the United States.