For fans of The Secret History and How to Get Away With Murder comes an exciting new voice in suspense fiction.
Ten years working as a prosecutor have left Meredith Delay jaded and unsure of what she wants out of life. She’s good at her job, but it haunts her. Her boyfriend wants her to commit, but she keeps him at arm’s length. Then Meredith is assigned to a high-profile prosecution involving the violent murder of a fallen hockey star. At first, it appears to be just another case to work. But when her old friend Julian is accused of the murder, it takes on a whole new dimension.
Meredith, Julian, Jonathan, and Lily were a tight-knit group in law school. But now, Jonathan’s defending Julian, and Lily’s loyalties aren’t clear. And when Julian invokes a rare—and risky—defense, Meredith is forced to confront their past.
Has something they played at as students finally been brought to death?
A couple of months ago I read Fractured by Catherine McKenzie and I LOVED it. When I found out that she was releasing a companion book, I was all over it. I use the term companion loosely though as either book could easily be read alone. So in Fractured the protagonist is Julie Apple and she wrote a book called The Murder Game. McKenzie now released this one using the pen name Julie Apple. Book inception! It may sound a bit confusing, but if you read Fractured first it all makes sense.
This follows a similar format to Fractured and has two distinct timelines. The first follows Meredith as she begins law school. She’s immediately drawn to a tight knit group of friends and eventually becomes a member of their group. There’s Julian who is dating Lily and Jonathan who Meredith begins dating. The second timeline follows Meredith as she works as a prosecutor who has been assigned to Julian’s case. Thus begins the biggest case in her career, but is she really capable of going against her old friend Julian? To complicate matters further Jonathan is defending him and she’s not really certain where Lily’s head is.
I’m a big fan of alternating timelines and it works seamlessly here, much as it did in Fractured. There is no mystery as to if Julian committed murder, he confessed after all, but the reader is constantly wondering if the old friends really conspired together to commit the perfect murder? Was that just talk back in the day? Or did they really go through with it?
I didn’t really like any of the characters here, but that didn’t stop me from really enjoying myself. I started this one night intending to only read a few chapters to get a feel for the story. I stopped reading at 75% and that’s only because The Walking Dead was on. (Pretty much nothing keeps me from watching that ASAP) It’s safe to say that this was a compelling and engaging read, even if I thought most of the characters were awful. Julian, Lily and Jonathan are pretty terrible to Meredith and I found myself wondering why she put up with this treatment? She wasn’t all that likeable either though now that I think about it.
This was a tense legal drama and it had the same tightly wound feeling that Fractured had. I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as that one, but it’s still a worthy read. Pay close attention to the prologue, it’s important. I had to go back and reread it after I finished the book actually. I still think it’s so cool and clever that McKenzie even released this book in this manner and I would love to read similar books but I’m not sure there are any others?!
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to Kathleen Zrelak for my review copy, you always hook me up with the BEST books and I’m so grateful.