Fractured by Catherine McKenzie (Suspense)
This psychological thriller is hard to put down. From the beginning, we know that something tragic has happened in the new neighborhood where best-selling author Julie Apple has moved with her husband and young twins. Julie herself has a painful history. After writing a successful crime novel called The Mystery Game, she has become the victim of a terrifying stalker and has moved to Cincinnati from Tacoma, Washington, in an effort to evade the woman. Soon, however, she finds herself on the outs with her new neighbors, and a familiar sense of peril returns.
The story has two narrators, Julie and John, the married neighbor across the street who shares her jogging habit and becomes her running companion. In alternating chapters, they tell the story of the past year – from the arrival of Julie’s family in the neighborhood to events of the current day, when they must face the outcome of the aforementioned tragedy. Each relates just enough to keep the reader guessing about what happened and to whom. At first, the back and forth bordered on confusing, but once the story began to take shape, it all fell into place.
Catherine McKenzie, author of several bestselling novels including Hidden and Smoke, is an accomplished writer who knows how to spin a good tale. John’s wife, Hanna, is an especially well-written character; her reactions to her husband’s friendship with the controversial new neighbor add realistically sinister possibilities to the story. The neighborhood’s overbearing busybody, Cindy, is irritating enough to rile anyone who has had to deal with someone similarly annoying. The question of who did what to whom had me changing options right up until the end.
As a bonus, McKenzie is publishing The Mystery Game by Julie Apple as a separate novel coming out this November.
Grandma gives Fractured four stars.
Bella Reads and Reviews received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.