Review: Fractured by Catherine McKenzie

29477965Fractured by Catherine McKenzie

Publisher: Lake Union

Publication Date: October 4th 2016

Format: eGalley (Netgalley)

Genre: Suspense/Mystery

Page Count: 360 pgs

Rating: ★★★★ (3.75)

Goodreads Synopsis:

Julie 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.

*I’d like to thank Lake Union for approving me to receive an eGalley of Fractured by Catherine Mckenzie via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Fractured is the 2nd mystery/suspense novel I’ve read this year in which I was unsure whether one of the main protagonists was a unreliable narrator or not. This novel kept me in the dark for almost the entirety of the book with incredible build up. Formatted in past & present tense, Fractured is narrated by Julie Prentice who is the newly moved in neighbor & John Dunbar who has resided in the close-knit neighborhood all his life. This book gave me such Stepford/Desperate Housewives feels & I wasn’t complaining since I loved the movie & tv show. I will say that any time I read or watch anything that takes place in a suburban community, I am always left feeling creeped out and thankful for my city and the neighbors who couldn’t be bothered to watch my coming’s & going’s HAHA! So, Julie Prentice who is looking to start a new life far away from her stalker decides to move to Cincinnati with her husband and twins. Julie has had much success from her debut thriller The Murder Game based loosely on old law school games she used to play with her law school buddies. “The Book” as Julie refers to it, runs parallel to her own life with many similarities between her and The Book’s protagonist Meredith. In “The Book”, someone is murdered and it just so happens that within Julie’s circle of real life law school buddies, someone was murdered while they were all at a frat-like party many years ago. Now a well known debut author with rising fame, Julie is used to all of the rumors swirling around The Murder Game aka “The Book” except that her stalker isn’t just some random Jane. Julie’s stalker actually attended the same law school & claims to know the truth. Julie struggles with depression & is a recovering alcoholic. Her transition into the new neighborhood is awkward from the very beginning & unfortunately only takes a downward spiral after a series of encounters with some of the neighbors (cue The Stepford Wives jeje). John Dunbar is the first to befriend Julie over a mutual love for morning runs. They develop a friendship since he’s a work-from-home dad & she an author with a deadline for book 2. In a community where every move is watched & reported, a friendship like theirs is sure to stir up some talk. However, it is the decisions they make that put into effect a series of life changing events. Since this is a Mystery/Suspense novel I don’t want to go to in depth. I went in blind like I do with most mystery/suspense novels & I think it works best with Fractured.


Since this book is told by Julie & John both in past and present tense, we get to see a mixture of old and new friends for each of these characters. Their family set-up is almost identical except for that Julie’s twins are I believe around 5 or 6 years of age and John has two teens. They are both married and their spouses work coincide with one another. Everyone is connected one way or another and everything is treated as public knowledge with very little room for privacy. We get introduced to some of the neighbors who under the leadership of one of the residents, have formed a committee. The leader of the committee throughout the book sends out these memos updating & revising (more like adding) the policies (rules) for the neighborhood and monthly block party which served to insert some humor into this book. I found myself thinking how it could be possible for all of the neighbors to follow these rules without protest but chucked it off to group thinking. The neighborhood as a whole down to some of the teens were pretty intense and very quick to pass judgment on Julie. The giph below perfectly describes how I pictured the women of Mount Adams would look at Julie every time there was a so called “incident” on their street. Most of the time I disliked the way the other women were towards Julie but there were some occasions that made me raise a brow. John I wasn’t too fond of at all, he came across as weird in a gross way and cowardly. Catherine McKenzie gave us two very complex protagonists & for that I am thankful since I like my characters roughly shaped LOL. 


I read Fractured in a fairly short amount of time which usually means that I enjoyed what I was reading, and I did. I was desperately trying to figure out what exactly happened and didn’t see that ending coming at all. I especially enjoyed the formatting of the chapters in past & present tense counting down to the final present hour. It all felt like flashbacks and you the reader get the full picture of how exactly the cookie came to crumble. There were certain things that played key roles in Julie’s life that I wish weren’t so easily tucked away (won’t say what due to spoilers) & some questions from her past that lingered in my mind. Overall though, this was an enjoyable read. What I loved most about reading Fractured had to be Catherine McKenzie’s writing style, which means I will definitely be looking into her other books. If you’re looking for the next suspense filled mystery novel this one is sure to hold you in it’s grasp till the very last page 😉


P.S. It aint a block party if the punch aint spiked! BAHAHAHA! 

Author: LairOfBooks

"I didn't choose the Book Life, the Book Life chose me"

33 thoughts on “Review: Fractured by Catherine McKenzie”

  1. This sounds like a pretty decent read, and my apologies, but what the h*ll is going on with that cover? 😀 Beauty in the eye of the beholder and what not but it feels so …. so… random and garden-furnitur-y!?! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. LMAO I agree Liz! I thought it was so random but could already tell the story would focus around some type of suburban drama. It’s fast paced though so if ever you’re looking for a quick read, this was decent.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Lmao! I thought I was the only one who did a double take on that cover like is that the worse that happens in this novel? A picnic chair gets turned over by an angry neighbor? lol no, more ish def goes down in this one & it’s a satisfying read, better than the cover.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the review! This one seems to be making rounds. I feel like I am experiencing de ja vu with some of these books. Luckily the reviews are so very different (like this gem you have written) or I would be flipping out. How do I miss all of these titles?! I feel like I live in a cave.. le sigh.

    You did a fantastic job of breaking this one down! And yes that armchair.. haha.


  3. Wonderful review as always my friend! I like the sound of this book however I feel like the detective in me wouldn’t be surprised with the ending lol.

    After reading the synopsis and your thorough review….wtf is that cover though? lol!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Great review Lilly. I’ve seen this book around before and it has quite a few good reviews so it seems like an amazingly developed and well written story, which is always a plus. I’ve never seen the Stepford Wives but I really enjoy Desperate Housewives so I love that this book reminded you a little of those two! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well I am looking to expand my reading tastes a little, and mystery books do seem to be a genre I find myself interested in as well so maybe I should give it a try one day. If it’s anything like Desperate Housewives I’m sure to enjoy it! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Glad you enjoyed it! I just received this book from Amy @novelgossip for winning her IG Bingo giveaway! Can’t wait to get a chance to read it! Great review ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great review Lilly! I enjoyed this one too as you know.

    “There were certain things that played key roles in Julie’s life that I wish weren’t so easily tucked away (won’t say what due to spoilers) & some questions from her past that lingered in my mind.”

    Yes! I kept waiting for certain things to come back into play that never ended up being mentioned again…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Amanda! I still have questions 😩😩😩 LOl! I thought the ending would answer some of those questions. I did enjoy the writing though so I may just read Smoke by her which I’ve had on my TBR long before I heard of Fractured 😃💕

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m so glad Gretchen called out the cover. It’s what, a flipped chair? What the hell?
    Does someone in the book knock it over and say, “No, you can’t sit here,” in an ominous way? 🤔
    Glad you dug it. Seems to be getting a lot of reads lately.


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