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The 22 Murders of Madison May

by Max Barry

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1254185,736 (3.84)None
From the critically acclaimed author of Jennifer Government and Lexicon comes 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. "I love you. In every world." Young real estate agent Madison May is shocked when a client at an open house says these words to her. The man, a stranger, seems to know far too much about her, and professes his love--shortly before he murders her. Felicity Staples hates reporting on murders. As a journalist for a midsize New York City paper, she knows she must take on the assignment to research Madison May's shocking murder, but the crime seems random and the suspect is in the wind. That is, until Felicity spots the killer on the subway, right before he vanishes. Soon, Felicity senses her entire universe has shifted. No one remembers Madison May, or Felicity's encounter with the mysterious man. And her cat is missing. Felicity realizes that in her pursuit of Madison's killer, she followed him into a different dimension--one where everything about her existence is slightly altered. At first, she is determined to return to the reality she knows, but when Madison May--in this world, a struggling actress--is murdered again, Felicity decides she must find the killer--and learns that she is not the only one hunting him. Traveling through different realities, Felicity uncovers the opportunity--and danger--of living more than one life.… (more)
  1. 10
    Lexicon by Max Barry (Aug3Zimm)
    Aug3Zimm: Same author, adventure/mystery storyline
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Showing 4 of 4
An intrepid reporter stumbles on a serial killer who is pursuing a particular woman across multiple timelines, and gets unwittingly dragged along with the people who are half-heartedly trying to stop him. Felt very 1990s (turns out I’m not much into serial killers any more, even in fsf). ( )
  rivkat | May 4, 2022 |
A thriller that jumps through parallel universes yet is very accessible. ( )
  bookwyrmm | Oct 14, 2021 |
Max Barry opens up his latest book, The 22 Murders of Madison May, with a prologue that gave me the shivers. A lone real estate agent named Madison May and a prospective buyer at a showing....Felicity Staples is the reporter who ends up covering the murder.

Sounds like a straight forward murder mystery right? Nope. Barry throws a curve ball. Look at the title again. Madison May has been murdered numerous times - in numerous realities. (not a spoiler - this is part of the publisher's description)

Felicity becomes obsessed with the case and becomes part of the shifting realities. I enjoyed Barry's take on how that might look. Parts of Felicity's life remains the same with every shift, but with subtle differences. I was quite curious to see what version of Felicity's boyfriend Gavin would appear each time. As well as what version of Maddy. The other constant is Levi, a crusty old reporter who also works at the newspaper. I quite enjoyed his dialogue. The killer's dialogue and interactions are definitely creepy. But he seemed one dimensional to me. (pun intended) Other shifters are part of the hunt as well. I was drawn to the enigmatic traveler Hugo.

Barry is a clever writer and will keep you on your toes following the various timelines and narratives. It was quite a different read for me and my first of Barry. I am a regular reader of mystery and crime fiction. While this is the vehicle the story begins with, it is the multiverse idea and the possibilities they provide that takes center stage. The book slowed down for me about two thirds of the way in and I was ready for the ending - which was perfect. ( )
  Twink | Jul 7, 2021 |
I love a good time travel or alternate dimension story and Max Barry has written a great one with The 22 Murders of Madison May. 22-year-old real estate agent, Madison May, is showing a house to a man she's never met. The man claims to be her soulmate from a parallel life. Later that day when reporter Felicity Staples is assigned to cover the murder of Madison May she finds that this is just the beginning of a series of events that will completely upend her life.

Felicity’s odd feeling about the murder and investigative instincts leads her to a man who is supposed to be in jail for killing his wife. The man gives her a strange object and throws her on the subway tracks. Before she knows it she wakes up in a world that is very similar, but not quite her own. Madison May is not a real estate agent in this world, but she soon winds up just as dead as the Maddie from the last world. Felicity hopes to bring some semblance of normality back to her own life and the only way she sees of doing this is by saving Madison May.

Max Barry novels are consistently thought-provoking, which continues to be the case in The 22 Murders of Madison May. Along with the ripple effects of how minor events can change the course of a world, Barry delves deep into what makes us who we are. The decisions we make and the paths our lives take. The premise and the mechanics of traveling to alternate dimensions are fascinating but it's Barry's character development that really makes this book a standout. Fans of Blake Crouch and Patrick Lee will enjoy this story.

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. ( )
  tottman | Jul 6, 2021 |
Showing 4 of 4
added by melmore | editThe Washington Post, Paul Di Filippo (pay site) (Jul 17, 2021)
 
A very clever, unpredictable little murder mystery with some bittersweet tones about the things we do for lov
added by melmore | editKirkus Reviews (Jun 21, 2021)
 
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For Finlay & Matilda
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She pulled to the curb and peered through her car window at the house she had to sell.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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From the critically acclaimed author of Jennifer Government and Lexicon comes 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. "I love you. In every world." Young real estate agent Madison May is shocked when a client at an open house says these words to her. The man, a stranger, seems to know far too much about her, and professes his love--shortly before he murders her. Felicity Staples hates reporting on murders. As a journalist for a midsize New York City paper, she knows she must take on the assignment to research Madison May's shocking murder, but the crime seems random and the suspect is in the wind. That is, until Felicity spots the killer on the subway, right before he vanishes. Soon, Felicity senses her entire universe has shifted. No one remembers Madison May, or Felicity's encounter with the mysterious man. And her cat is missing. Felicity realizes that in her pursuit of Madison's killer, she followed him into a different dimension--one where everything about her existence is slightly altered. At first, she is determined to return to the reality she knows, but when Madison May--in this world, a struggling actress--is murdered again, Felicity decides she must find the killer--and learns that she is not the only one hunting him. Traveling through different realities, Felicity uncovers the opportunity--and danger--of living more than one life.

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