Rated Reads


by Catherine McKenzie

Rated: High

Julie Prentice, her husband and two young children move to Cincinnati from Tacoma hoping to get a fresh start and some peace from a stalker who has made Julie’s life miserable since she wrote a best-selling novel. They choose a lovely established neighborhood with a homeowners group that stays busy with monthly neighborhood parties and even a regular newsletter.

Julie enjoys meeting her neighbor across the street, John, who has a running schedule like she does, early in the morning, and they hit it off. Despite that positive connection, Julie ends up having a hard time fitting in and feeling entirely at ease with all her new neighbors. Little misunderstandings crop up and turn into bigger ones, and eventually she starts being harassed. It’s even possible that her old stalker has found her.

When things spiral out of control, a tragedy occurs. Who’s at fault? Has her old stalker truly found her despite all her privacy and security measures? Is Julie imagining things? And how much is her murder mystery actually based on her own past experiences?

As the story goes back and forth between the viewpoints of Julie and John and between the present (just post-tragedy) and a year earlier, when Julie’s family first moved to the neighborhood, the story slowly but surely builds in tension, with piece by piece of the story being added in. It’s a page-turner I couldn’t put down. As strong as the whole story was, though, when the book concluded, I felt the ending was just a little weak in comparison. But that was a minor beef with an engaging book.

Rated: High. Language was mostly about 20 to 25 uses of strong language, with some milder sprinkled in. There are some references to sex but no real details. There’s no real violence but an accident without details. There are a few mildly coarse things that are done by the stalker(s).

* I received an advanced reader’s e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

— Reviewed by Cathy Carmode Lim

Cathy Carmode Lim has been reviewing books for newspapers for about 20 years, two of which she was a book page editor. She founded Rated Reads in January 2008.

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  • Fractured
  • by Catherine McKenzie
  • Rated: High
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Reviewer: