Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Bookish Thoughts: Fractured by Catherine McKenzie

I'm still not certain what it was that made me begin my daily morning vigil at the front windows. 
~ Opening of Fractured


Fractured by Catherine McKenzie
Lake Union Publishing, 2016
Fiction; 360 pgs

Fractured started out slow for me, one of those novels that creeps forward, seemingly innocent at first and yet you know it will not stay that way. Told in alternating viewpoints of bestselling crime novelist Julie Prentice and her neighbor John Dunbar and at varying times in the timeline, there is some foreshadowing and subtle reveals as the novel is unfolds.

Julie and her family moved to Cincinnati to get away from a stalker who had been harassing and terrorizing Julie since her novel was published. She hoped the quiet and quaint neighborhood of Mount Adams would be the ideal place to settle down again and work on her second novel. The reader gets the sense that Julie is on edge, and becoming even more so as the novel progresses. Just how reliable a narrator is she? Is she paranoid? Is she attention seeking? Is there really someone after her? Is it possible her stalker has found her? All of these questions come up when new incidents  of harassment begin to disrupt Julie's life. It doesn't help that the neighborhood's "well meaning" and overly involved mother hen takes an instant dislike to Julie.

Neighbors John and Julie hit it off from the start. They both enjoy running and so take up running together in the mornings. John is a seemingly happily married man with two children. His wife is a successful prosecutor whose ire is raised when Julie is involved with an incident involving her son. It doesn't help that the John and Julie seem to spend a lot of time together, however innocent John claims it to be.

In many ways, Fractured is a study in marriage and family and how not everything is how it appears, even to those within the relationship. Both Julie and John appear to have strong relationships with their spouses, and yet, under the pressure of neighborhood gossip, growing tension, and real or perceived threats, we can see the cracks forming and growing. We see this in the relationships of other characters in the novel as well which ties into the overreaching themes in the novel.

Author Catherine McKenzie knows how to subtly build tension, teasing the readers with every page turned, revealing a little at a time. There is a lot going on under the surface. I do wish a couple of the threads had been more prominent, but ultimately, I think Fractured was a satisfying read. The novel was not quite the thriller I was expecting. Just the same, I found Fractured to be not only suspenseful, but another example of Catherine McKenzie's ability to tell a good layered story.


To learn more about Catherine McKenzie and her books, please visit the author's website. You can also find the author on GoodreadsFacebook, and Twitter.

I hope you will check out what others had to say about Fractured on the TLC Book Tours route!



Many thanks to the TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to be a part of this book tour.  Review copy provided by publisher for an honest review.






© 2016, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

28 comments:

  1. Sounds like an interesting book! I'll have to go and see if the library's e-collection has her books.

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    1. Eustacia - It was. Not quite what I was expecting, but I enjoyed it.

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  2. This sounds interesting. I can forgive a slow start if the book ends up grabbing me.

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    1. Kathy - It definitely picked up for me as I went. :-)

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  3. I read and enjoyed The Murder Game (draft in progress), then I tried Fractured. In spite of the tension evoked by Fractured, the behavior of the characters frustrated me. The neighborhood strictures, and the characters willingness to go along with them, baffled and repelled me. Maybe I'll give it another try later.

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    1. Jenclair - I know what you mean about the neighborhood strictures and the way the characters just followed along. That bothered me as well. I didn't understand why they just went along with it all. It's not like the woman had any real control other than what they gave her.

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  4. I am seeing this one around and been curious about it. Glad it gets better!

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    1. Kelly - I am glad I don't live in that neighborhood; I'll tell you that much!

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  5. I haven't read anything by this author but I do own one of her books. I'm glad that the book got more interesting as you read more of it. I do wish it was more captivating from the beginning though.

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    1. Athira - Slow starts can be the death of a book for me. Luckily this one was still interesting even in its slower moments. :-)

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  6. This sounds good! I love subtle suspense and I can feel the creepiness just from reading the review! I think I have another book by this author on my TBR. I'll have to check it out.

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    1. Katherine - I really like subtle suspense too, especially when it is done right. I think McKenzie did that here.

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  7. This is on my TBR list and I've seen several good reviews. I look forward to reading it after seeing your review. Happy Reading!

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    1. Heather - I need to go read others reviews now that my review's gone up to see what they are saying! While I didn't love this one, I did think it was good.

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  8. I have been wanting to read a book by Ms. McKenzie for awhile now. She has several titles out there, so I'm wondering if this is the right choice for my first book by her. I probably will read it at some time, so thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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    1. Rita - I'm curious about her other books. I wouldn't say she's become a favorite, but I have enjoyed what I've read by her so far.

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  9. This sounds good. I wouldn't have picked up this book if I've not read your thoughts; I think it's the cover. ;p Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Wendy.

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    1. Melody - The description of the book is what sold me on it. It was a different type of thriller than I expected, but I am glad I took a chance on it.

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  10. I like it when there is alot under the surface and it is revealed slowly as the story progresses. Glad you enjoyed this one!

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    1. Naida - Me too! It makes for a more interesting story, I think.

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  11. I like the layering of the story - when it slowly unravels its very interesting.

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    1. Mystica - Yes, it adds to the suspense when an author uses that technique in telling the story, doesn't it?

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  12. I like the sound of this one! Great review!

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    1. Iliana - Thank you! I hope you like this one if you try it.

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  13. Marriages are tricky, aren't they? I do love books that delve into the complexities and this one looks good.

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    1. Stacy - Yes, they can be. They certainly can be very complex.

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