cover image My Murder

My Murder

Katie Williams. Riverhead, $27 (304p) ISBN 978-0-593-54376-4

Williams (Tell the Machine Goodnight) delivers a clever speculative story of cloning and crime. Lou is told by a government-sponsored “replication commission” that she’s been cloned from a victim of serial killer Edward Early. With no memories of her earlier life as the doting mother and loving wife she believes herself to be, she attempts to pick up where the old Lou left off in her suburban Michigan home. Lou and replicants of Early’s other four victims meet in a support group, where they dish on the difficulties of their readjustments: they have no memory of their murders, and they distance themselves from their pre-murder personae as “my other me.” Lou, in particular, is puzzled by unexplained mysteries about her pre-clone life—turns out the old Lou’s marriage wasn’t so sunny after all—that are exacerbated after she visits Early in prison. Though she meets him in hopes he’ll explain why he picked her, his bombshell revelation is much more than what she bargained for, and it leads to a surprising denouement. Though the tone is darkly comic, Williams poses provocative questions about cloning and resurrection, and she pulls off an intelligent murder mystery to boot. This creep-fest is acerbic and disturbing in equal measure. (June)