Fractured by Catherine McKenzie was a book* that I thought would completely go one way, but swerved another way and it completely worked!
Julie (and family) have moved into a nice residential neighborhood to get away from it all- the big city, her adoring fans, and her stalker. Julie, a former law student, wrote a best selling book which may or may not be fiction on the perfect murder. Her stalker followed her around, sent threatening emails, phone calls, and did a bunch of other creepy things to Julie and her family. They are miles away now and safe. She can run, her twins can go to school, and she can have a normal life where no one knows who she is, even though the book continues to sell in the millions.
John and his family live across the street. He is a former IT guy who is an expert on firewalls, websites, etc. For several weeks, he has been standing by his window watching Julie leave for her morning run, timing when she comes back, and at times has put on running sneakers himself. He knows exactly who Julie is and has read her book several times. He Googles facts about her, notices her firewall is down, has found her new novel, and wants to be friends with Julie and her family.
I am going to stop with the description here because you are probably thinking this book is about what I was thinking about- John is a creep who will either become her new stalker or just be a creep. Let me give a slight spoiler and say the book is not about that at all! There are things that happen between John and Julie and there are creepy moments, but the creepy neighbor idea is out.
The story is told from two perspectives- John's and Julie's. It is also told through a countdown starting from a year out to "now." The now parts are taking place in a courtroom and a trial is going on- Julie is nowhere to be seen, John and Julie's wife are separate, and some of the neighbors are testifying. We don't know what the trial is about until the end, so no spoilers here.
The countdown parts take place in the neighborhood and are the stories being told in the courtroom at the moment. We jump between now and the next section of the countdown. As things start well and innocently in the neighborhood, we will wind up with cameras all over Julie's house (not a spoiler). Things just seem to progress and get worse and worse for Julie the more she tries to acclimate to the neighborhood.
I have been describing this book as fun, yet very serious at the same time. What I mean by that is the writing just flows and there are some humorous parts as well as some fun parts. The story itself will start playful, but get very serious toward the end, it seemed as if the writing style changed too. The tone is darker and becomes a different book in a way. It works too! I read this over the weekend and just had a blast!
I gave this one 4.5 stars.
Here is your Amazon link- Fractured by Catherine McKenzie
*I received this book for review from NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing in exchange for an honest review.