Wednesday, July 7, 2021

The 22 Murders of Madison May - Max Barry

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. See for yourself - read an excerpt of The 22 Murders of Madison May.


Ethan said...

That's definitely a unique take on a murder mystery! It kind of reminds me of Blake Crouch's writing.

Luanne said...

Ethan, that's a perfect comparison!

Grandma Cootie said...

Thanks for pointing me to another unique book. The excerpt has me hooked. Added to my TBR list.

Luanne said...

I look forward to your thoughts Grandma Cootie!