thoughts and things

Normal by Graeme Cameron Book Review

A Very readable, original book and a great twist in the serial killer genre

I recieved a copy of this book via Netgalley.
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Here’s the Blurb:

He lives on your street, in a nice house with a tidy garden.

He shops at your local supermarket. He drives beside you, waving to let you into the lane ahead of him.

He also has an elaborate cage in a secret basement under his garage.

The food he’s carefully shopping for is to feed a young woman he’s holding there against her will – one in a string of many, unaware of the fate that awaits her.

This is how it’s been for a long time. It’s normal…and it works. Perfectly.

But this time it’s different…

This is such a strange book. The first half of this book is chilling, you are reading a sort of fly on the wall. It is kind of voyeuristic, seeing what the life of this serial killer is. The pace is quick and at times I had to re-read pages as I couldn’t believe what I had read, or I had missed a vital word. Another weird thing – it is quite humourous, in a dark comedy kind of way. The narrator (we never find out his name or what he looks like) makes everything seem so….normal. You get to know and almost like this character, whilst there are flashes in between where you just feel pure horror and wonder at what he may do next.

Events twist and turn and we see this killer’s ‘normal’ start to spin out of control. He kidnaps a girl called Ericka, and what starts off as usual (for him) is anything but. The second half of the book he also starts to have a crisis of conscience, which also causes him many issues. It is hard to explain his book without giving away the whole plot, but the more you read, the less frightening this person becomes and the more intruiged you are. You are almost willing this guy to get away with murder.

You get some insight into his past, and this starts to paint a picture but you never find out enough to really answer many questions. I also felt very confused as to what exactly this guy did as a serial killer, his motive, his way of killing. He didn’t appear to be like the serial killers you read of in the news or in other papers. But hey, I’m no crimminologist! It was just what I thought as I read the book.

The characters in the book are all very strong. It is interesting that as a serial killer of women, there are four main female characters in the book and they are all very strong characters. In fact, he is surrounded by women. I liked the characters and their influence on the main character; Annie and Ericka in particular. I liked the way these characters develop, and are not quite what they seem, initially.

As I have said, the book twists and turns and the pace is quick, there is always something else happening and I felt like I had to keep up. It wasn’t a boring read, although I would say that it is one that I felt I had to put down at times, it really felt a bit warped and some descriptions made me feel a little queasy. However it is a really original read, a great twist on the serial killer genre, and very readable.

I give Normal by Graeme Cameron 4 out of 5 stars.

Normal by Graeme Cameron is published by Harlequin UK and is out to buy now.

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