In the novel Fractured by Catherine McKenzie, Julie Prentice and her family find themselves moving across country to escape a stalker who has terrorized her since her novel, The Murder Game, was published. Moving to Cincinnati she and her family hope that all the danger and drama is behind them.
Yet Julie can’t seem to shake loose from the past. Everything creates fear; looks that seem askance, reactions from people that seem out of place, and even the neighbours. She finds it difficult to fit in to a neighborhood that is tight knit and has expectations about how people’s behaviour. The only one she feels comfortable with is their closest neighbor, Josh Dunbar. Yet even this connection creates a frisson that sets her life and chance at happiness into another unknown direction.
Can she come to terms with her past, and set a strong, safe path for her family? Will the connection she has formed with a new stranger be the very thing that unbinds her family for good? Are the actions of their neighbors really full of good intent or has her stalker found her again?
McKenzie gives us a story of possibilities, creating a crescendo of alarm as her character begins to believe her family is in danger. She takes you into jittery concern as well as that of feelings and personalities to bring you an edge of your seat thriller.
Her characters are very real and the back biting and jealousy are true to form. The feeling of being out of control makes you uncomfortable as you you try to piece together the clues to find what is happening.
If you enjoy mysteries and family situations, this is a good book for your library. The danger is secretive and roils below the surface, making you wonder if it is real at all or just in the mind of our protagonist.
This would be a great book for a reading group or book club, one to give them a great deal of dialogue.