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Fractured    by Kate Watterson order for
by Kate Watterson
Order:  USA  Can
Forge, 2015 (2015)

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Fractured is the fourth in Kate Watterson's mystery series starring Milwaukee homicide detective Ellie MacIntosh. She is in a relationship with software designer Bryce Grantham - who was a serial killer suspect in the first book in the series, Frozen - and lives with him in his home.

Ellie's partner, abrasive Jason Santiago, was shot during their last case but is back on the job again, dealing with feelings for Ellie that complicate his life. He doesn't share them with her, afraid to damage their working relationship. Meanwhile Ellie and Bryce seem to be distancing themselves from one another.

As the story opens, Ellie and Jason are once again investigating a series of gruesome murders, in which the victims' faces are slashed to pieces and a perfect cross sliced into their chests. What is that all about? And where did the victims eat the cake with apples (and date-rape drug) in it found in their stomachs?

The victims have little in common except their blond, blue-eyed good looks which are also shared by Jason. He and Ellie have been both seeing the same therapist, Dr. Georgia Lukens, as has a young woman named Lea who is very concerned about her roommate. Eventually, Dr. Lukens feels she must share those concerns with the police.

Ellie and Jason seem to take turns saving each other's life in these episodes; which will it be this time? You'll have to read Fractured to find out. It's an engrossing mystery, infused with romance.

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