Fractured (Catherine McKenzie)

29477965Julie 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.

Fractured is a well-written and compelling contemporary story located in a close-knit community where everyone knows what everyone else is doing. Julie, her husband their two sons have moved there and think they’re finally safe, after an ugly harassment episode that left Julie worried about her life. But now, it seems that the threats are back and she can’t do anything about it….

I just love this mix of genres: contemporary, psychological thriller, women’s fiction… I think this all started when I discovered Desperate Housewives ten years ago. Seemingly kind neighbors, people keeping deadly secrets… I just can’t help but love this type of stories and they never fail to grab me from the very first page.

Fractured had all the ingredients I love and it also featured a main character who happens to be a novel writer, which is also another thing I love reading about. It was all very meta, with multiple mentions of the book she had written (which is going to be published in real life!). However, even though I really enjoyed reading about her struggles with The Book, in the end, I didn’t find that storyline that relevant to what happened.

Sometimes, when a book revolves around a particular incident that it’s being mentioned in practically every chapter, the expectations are simply too high. And I know that’s probably my fault, but I can’t help being disappointed when the event ends up not being what I expected at all. Blame all the other books that have set the bar so high!

This book reminded me of Liane Moriarty’s novels, both in terms of setting and plot. It was also similar to The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish and the close-knitted community reminded me of The Drowning Girls by Paula Treick-DeBoard. However, even though Fractured was a completely engrossing read, the ending was a bit of a letdown. I guess I was expecting something much more explosive or satisfying and I ended up feeling a bit: “Ah, ok”. Still, I loved the last two sentences and thought it was a super clever to finish it like that.

I want to say that even though the ending wasn’t satisfying enough for me, I enjoyed the rest of the book and thought Catherine McKenzie’s writing was super engaging. I have The Murder Game ready to be devoured in a few weeks and I’d love to read more books by her.

Lake Union Publishing, 2016

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37 thoughts on “Fractured (Catherine McKenzie)

  1. Donna says:

    Neighbors, I was always told to leave the neighbors alone, haha! 🙂 Great review!! I’m glad you enjoyed the book despite the ending not blowing your mind away. Sometimes we have such high expectations that a good ending sounds just okay. I blame our minds now used to crazy plots and twists! But books are like life, sometimes it’s simple and okay, and it does not mean it’s bad 🙂


  2. Susie | Novel Visits says:

    This has been on my list of books to read, but I keep wavering. I really liked The Swimming Pool and always enjoy Liane Moriarty, so maybe I should go for it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anne says:

    I loved Desperate Housewives! (except the last couple of seasons, they were pretty crappy) But it strangely didn’t push my reading habits into the direction of psychological thrillers yet :D. Nevertheless, neighbours in a suburban setting who are keeping secrets from each other?! –> ❤ <3. Great review Annie! Maybe 2017 will be my year of thrillers XD


  4. Reg @ She Latitude says:

    Aww, I”m sorry that the ending let you down but it seems like everything else was pretty solid! I also love reading books about authors, and I actually do enjoy mysteries/psychological thrillers once in a while. I’ll keep this in mind.

    Also, I feel like trying out a Liane Moriarty book after hearing her speak in a podcast! Do you have a particular favourite?


  5. Amanda @Cover2CoverMom says:

    Yay! I’ve been watching for your review for Fractured.

    I had very similar feelings after finishing this book….

    “However, even though I really enjoyed reading about her struggles with The Book, in the end, I didn’t find that storyline that relevant to what happened.”

    Yes!!! I thought this was going to be more relevant or at least tie into the ending, but it didn’t… I did find out at the BBTB book festival, where McKenzie participated on a panel, that she actually wrote The Murder Game BEFORE this novel… I found that interesting.

    “However, even though Fractured was a completely engrossing read, the ending was a bit of a letdown. I guess I was expecting something much more explosive or satisfying and I ended up feeling a bit: “Ah, ok”. ”

    I felt the same. I was expecting something much crazier… the ending was just flat in comparison to the rest of the book.

    Despite a weaker ending, I still really enjoyed this book and will definitely be picking up The Murder Game.

    Great review 🙂


    • Annie says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one, I just didn’t see the point, she couldve perfectly not written any book before and the story would be the same 😂 Because that lady from the past wasn’t even that crucial. I don’t know.

      But I had a great time reading it and I have The murder game in my Kindle 😁

      Can’t wait to share our thoughts about that one 😘


  6. TeacherofYA says:

    My neighbors consist of drug dealing drunks and a cross-dressing sex offender: I should write my own book, lol!
    Sounds like an interesting premise…but unfortunately if the magic isn’t there, it isn’t there. At least you gave it a try. Great review! 👏👏👏👏


  7. Diana says:

    I loved Desperate Housewives and this book reminded me so much of Wisteria Lane. Awesome show. I have high hopes for Devious Maids too but sad that was cut short. I liked this book because of the drama and the neighbours especially the crazy woman who used to set all the rules for the street. The big reveal was a little disappointing though. The Murder Game is a real book? I didn’t know that. How did you get it? I would love to read it too. Great review!


    • Annie says:

      I’ve just started it this morning! It’s on Netgalley I think! It’ll be released on the 1st of November I believe! It reminds me a bit of the TVShow: How to get away with murder haha

      Yeah, Devious Maids was awesome! I also loved the crazy woman setting all the rules xDD Those are the characters I enjoy the most 😛 Did you read Big Little Lies?

      Liked by 1 person

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