Amazon Publishing | October 2016 | 349 pgs
Source: Library

Secrets and insanity. Yeah, I think these about sums up what's happening in this story. I've to admit I'd have given this book a miss (perhaps it's the cover) if I didn't read the reviews from a few of my book blogging friends. 

This story is told from two POVs - Julie Prentice and John Dunbar and a non-linear time frame. Julie is the bestselling author of The Murder Game* and is happily married with two kids. However, she is bothered by a stalker and has since moved to Mount Adams in Cincinnati. But the new place doesn't offer her much peace as she has hoped. With a tight knit community and a set of (ridiculous) rules to comply, she feels like an outsider except for John, whom she feels an instant connection with since she has moved into Mount Adams and it makes better that they just live across from each other. They run together often, too, but that's because Julie has no running partner and that it's always safer to run in pairs, especially after what Julie had gone through to shake off from her stalker. 

John Dunbar, on the other hand, sympathies Julie's situation yet he is drawn to her (more like BFF) although he loves his family and is a devoted father, too. His friendship with Julie begins to bother his wife and with that tight knit community it's easy to blow things out of proportions even if a small act could appear innocent and harmless. 

Fractured is one addicting fast-paced psychological thriller. Well, I can't really say it's a hardcore thriller since it seems more like a case of character study packed with some marital issues. Most of the characters are unlikeable, though I did sympathise one or two of them. Mount Adams itself is an interesting setting where everyone seems to know what's everyone doing (thanks to a self-nominated Chairwoman/housewife who seems to think she is responsible and owns the whole of Mount Adams with her controlling rules and regulations) and I think this overall atmosphere adds more intensity to the already foreboding setting. Readers are aware that some bad things have happened but don't know what and why until the truth hit them as the story slowly unfolds. This is a well crafted layered story; one I didn't expect and although it is good storytelling the characters left me feeling sour and hollow.

* The Murder Gamewritten by Catherine McKenzie as Julie Apple (yes, she's Julie Prentice in Fractured) is another book readers wouldn't want to miss. A fiction based from a fiction, how cool is that? 

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8 Responses
  1. jenclair Says:

    I liked The Murder Game, but when I tried Fractured, I was seriously put off and abandoned it. I didn't like the characters or the Stepford quality to the new neighborhood. Your description of a "sour and hollow" feeling is exactly how I felt about the characters--and I ended up just putting it aside. Strange that I really thought The Murder Game so well done--not that the characters in TMG were lovable, but they felt real and intelligent.

  2. Lark Says:

    Your description of Mount Adams made me think of Stepford, too. My problem with this novel is that I don't like the alternating POV thing...I know it works for a lot of people in a lot of novels, but it's not my favorite. But I think I am interested in reading The Murder Game. :)

  3. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - Yes, I was put off by some of the characters too but I was too absorbed by the plot then and was curious to see how it'd end. I've to check out The Murder Game, that's for sure.

  4. Melody Says:

    Lark - I'm fine with alternating POV as long as they aren't complicating to the mind. ;) I'm curious about The Murder Game too and I'm hoping that my library will have it.

  5. Marce Says:

    The unlikeable characters has killed my vibe and seems like a trend. I do want to read this one though, possibly before end of year or a contender for 1st read.

    And The Murder Game I find fascinating coming out of this book, very unique.

    Great review Melody.

  6. Melody Says:

    Marce - Yes, it does seems like unlikeable (and unreliable, as well) characters are a trend in today's literary world, isn't it? Honestly, I've no problem with that as long as they're well written and piques my interest when the premise is concerned. I'll definitely keep The Murder Game onto my to-read list.

  7. I have a copy of The Murder Game and hope to read it soon-ish. I admit the cover was a bit of a turn off for me too on this one. It doesn't really match the book, does it?

  8. Melody Says:

    Wendy - No, the cover doesn't convey the storyline at all and that's a pity considering it was such an intense book. I'd have missed this book totally if I've not read yours and a few other bloggers' reviews.

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