Fractured by Catherine McKenzie

The Blurb:

fractured-2Julie 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.

What I thought:

I am always intrigued to read books about people who quickly up-sticks and leave, often without leaving a forwarding address. The motivations and secrets of those who disappear and the detail that is deliberately left out and drip fed to the reader throughout the book, teasing us with snippets of information that we have to try to piece together ourselves.

Julie is an author with a best-selling crime fiction book called The Murder Game but it appears that there are some who don’t believe that it is entirely fiction. After a stalker becomes increasingly volatile, Julie uproots her whole family to Cincinnati to get away. She begins to make some new friends in the neighbourhood, and one in particular is John, the married man across the street, who she starts running with every morning. 

The book alternates between Julie and John, each telling their story in present day and the past. It is clear right from the start that there has been a major incident that lands some of the cast in court for murder but we don’t know who, why or what happened. The tension is always just enough to keep us reading one more chapter.

Some of the characters were brilliantly drawn, in particular Cindy the interfering neighbour, but although I didn’t necessarily dislike Julie, I didn’t particulalry warm to her or her children either so although I felt I should be rooting for her I didn’t quite get there despite her becoming (unfairly) a pariah in her own neighbourhood.


I have seen this book categorised as both psychological thriller and women’s fiction and to be honest I found it to be the perfect hybrid of the two – an intelligent, well-paced page-turner. I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars.


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