The 22 Murders of Madison May
reviewed by Carolyn Scott
When twenty-two-year-old real estate agent Madison May shows a house to a stranger who seems to know a lot about her, she doesn’t expect to be murdered. After all, he has given her his name, shown his driver’s license and allowed her to take a photo of him to send back to her office, so she should be perfectly safe even if he is the last viewer today.
The stranger is Clayton (Clay) Hors and he’s spent a long time searching for the version of Maddie that fits his dream vision of her. This won’t be the first or the last time he murders a version of Maddie who doesn’t fit his fantasy.
Journalist Felicity Staples doesn’t normally report on crime for her NY paper but is asked to fill in and sent to the scene of Madison’s murder at the house she was showing. Following up a lead on a man she spotted hanging around outside the house, she finds herself accidently dragged into a different world.
Felicity meets Hugo Garrelly, a member of a shadowy group that can travel across space and time. Together they will chase Clay, as he follows his obsession to find his perfect Maddison May, determined to stop him from murdering again.
The novel is a perfect mix of serial killer thriller and sci-fi, however you don’t need to be a fan of sci-fi to enjoy this. The novel in very inventive in the different but overlapping versions of Madison that are found, which keeps the novel fresh and stops it from becoming repetitive as introduces unexpected twists into each scene. Felicity also finds herself in different versions of her life, something she doesn’t always cope with well, especially the changes in her boyfriend Gavin and their relationship.
The action is fast and engaging right from the start. Felicity changes over the course of the novel as she comes to see what is most important to her for the life she wants to lead. I would have liked to have got to know Hugo better and to find out more about the purpose of the group that he works with (and would welcome a sequel exploring this further). Apart from that it was a very enjoyable thriller with a very satisfying ending.
With many thanks to Penguin and Netgalley for a copy to read. Expected publication July 6th.