“Fractured” by Catherine McKenzie


Pub. Date: Oct., 4 2016

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

This psychological thriller is narrated by a female (once a lawyer) author who has written a bestselling novel about a perfect murder, and her male (out of work) neighbor who has a crush on her.  Both protagonists are supposedly happily married and frequently socialize together.   But in this type of story, nothing is as it appears to be.

The author and her family move into a neighborhood reminiscent of the “Stepford Wives”.  She clearly does not fit in.  The reason for their move is because she is being stalked by a law school classmate of hers.  The stalking begins once her book is published.  Rumors fly that the author based her novel on her own life as a law student, before she became a writer.  Back in her school days, she and her law school buddies were known to play a game that involved creating the perfect murder.  The game abruptly stops when one fellow student dies, causing the future author suspicion.

In the present time, the stalker is accusing the author of being the murderer of that student because of the book’s story line.   Adding another twist to the plot, in the writer’s odd new community, a tragedy happens, which involves the author and her male neighbor.   This is the book’s big teaser, hinted at from the start.  The story is not linear as it goes back and forth in time.  Catherine McKenzie, the author of “Fractured,” is effective in building suspense as she hops back and forth in time.

My only criticism with this book is that the ending did not seem believable, leaving this reviewer feeling unsatisfied.   Still, all the characters felt real, engaging me throughout the story.  I felt anxious to learn how it all would turn out, which of course is a sign of a good nail-biter.   If you enjoy the popular author Liane Moriarty, this novel is for you.

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