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The 22 Murders of Madison May

The 22 Murders of Madison May 1

by Max Barry
Paperback
Publication Date: 30/06/2021
4/5 Rating 1 Review

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From the critically acclaimed author of Jennifer Government and Lexicon comes a mind-bending speculative psychological suspense about a serial killer pursuing his victim across time and space, and the woman who is determined to stop him, even if it upends her own reality.

'If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.'

In Queens, New York, 22-year-old real estate agent Madison May is showing a house. The buyer, a man she's never met, is friendly, engaging . . . and claims to be her soulmate from a parallel life. She's in danger, he tells her. He's come to save her.

Later that day, newspaper journalist Felicity Staples is assigned to report on Madison May's murder. Discontent with her own life, Felicity finds herself drawn into a shocking conspiracy involving a powerful group who have harnessed the ability to slip between lives - to move between one version of reality to another.

On the run, turned into an imposter in her own life, Felicity is forced to seek the truth behind Madison May, the woman who is murdered over and over, in different ways, wherever she goes. For only by saving Madison May can Felicity reassemble the broken pieces of herself.

ISBN:
9780733645808
9780733645808
Category:
Science fiction
Format:
Paperback
Publication Date:
30-06-2021
Publisher:
Hachette Australia
Country of origin:
Australia
Dimensions (mm):
234x154x25mm
Weight:
0.42kg

'With unrelenting tension, Max Barry weaves a complex tapestry where a sociopath's insatiable obsession knows no bounds, not even time and space, and only two things are certain - he will kill her again because he's killed her before. I devoured this novel in one sitting.'
J.D. Barker, author of A Caller's Game

'A crime thriller that tripped and fell through a manhole and into the multiverse. It's frenetic and funny and gut-wrenching by turns, and I absolutely could not put it down. You need to read this book. Do it. Do it now.'
Edward Ashton, author of The End of Ordinary

'Beware Max Barry. Once his story grabs hold, you will forget to eat, sleep, and bathe until you're left with the world's worst book hangover. An exhilarating rocket shot of a thriller tempered with Barry's trademark wit and warmth.'
David Yoon, author of Version Zero

Max Barry

Max Barry is the author of numerous novels, including Jennifer Government, Company, Machine Man, and Lexicon. He is also the developer of the online nation simulation game NationStates. Prior to his writing career, Barry worked at tech giant HP. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, with his wife and two daughters.

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“You know, I love you, Madison. In every world. Even when you don’t love me back.”

For Clay, it was love at first sight. The Madison May he fell for was the character she played in a movie, although Clay is certain that Maddie, the person, is the woman for him. He’s so sure that he’s been travelling across multiple parallel dimensions for their happily ever after.

The only pesky problem is that he hasn’t found a Maddie yet who meets his expectations and what’s a loved up guy supposed to do when that happens? Kill that Maddie and move on to the next one. Yeah, our Clay isn’t exactly the poster child for optimal mental health.

Along for the ride is Felicity Staples, a newspaper reporter who doesn’t usually report on murders. Felicity saw firsthand what Clay’s ‘love’ is capable of in the life where Maddie was a real estate agent. Now she’s trying to stop Clay from murdering other Maddies but Clay always seems to be one step ahead.

“The details are different. But it’s her. It’s the same person, murdered in a different place.”

When I read the blurb for this book, my immediate thought was, ‘Oh, so it’s like Lauren Beukes’ The Shining Girls.’ No, I haven’t read that one yet so I can’t say for sure but it seems I’m not the only reader to pick up on the similarities.

Parallel universes are one of the things I love to read about. They raise so many questions that my brain enjoys teasing out. Things like, if you travel from one parallel universe to another, what happens to the you that lives there? Does You 1 erase You 2 by showing up in world 2? Does You 2 wind up in the world you left, trying to make sense of subtle or not so subtle differences? Are you now a missing person in your world? If you travel to a third world, does You 2 get to resume their life in world 2? I could go on forever like this.

This book come up with its own answers for how parallel universes work. It made sense, although it was a sadder concept than what I’d like to believe. I did enjoy the idea of moorings, although I would have liked more explanations for how everything worked, including how the first person to ever travel between universes figured out how to do it.

Clay’s obsession with Maddie is downright creepy and I expected to feel something every time I watched her get murdered. However, I never formed an emotional connection with any of the characters so while I was interested in seeing how it would all pan out, I felt like more of a casual observer than someone who was invested in the lives of Maddie, Felicity, Clay, etc.

“You’re the reason for everything.”

I’m rounding up from 3.5 stars.

Contains Spoilers No
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