Thursday, 9 April 2015

Review: Normal by Graeme Cameron

Normal by Graeme Cameron

Publication date: 9th April, 2015
Published by: Harlequin UK
Genre: Adult, Thriller, Mystery, Crime
Stars: 4****

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…

Dark, twisted and compelling, this is the most exciting and original thriller of the year

My Thoughts

This is one of those books that it is difficult to sum up without giving too much away so I'm expecting this to be quite a short review, well short for me anyway. I read a lot of crime and reading the blurb for Normal I can see that it is certainly going to be a book that stands out from the norm.

We are launched amidst the blood and gore right from the opening pages where we meet our narrator, the killer cleaning up after murdering and dismembering his latest victim. Unfortunately he is interrupted by the young girl's friend Erica which leads to our killer taking Erica hostage and then keeping her imprisoned in his basement which is fully equipped for keeping his victims imprisoned. From this point on things start to go a little bit wrong for our killer. So many times he comes very close to being caught with the police turning up at the most awkward of times. And Erica just tries his patience but an unlikely bond develops between them which is quite unexpected for our killer.

Normal is such an interesting concept, seeing murder totally through the eyes of the killer. The book is entirely told from the killer's point of view which gives us a front seat to some pretty horrific and gruesome things. Normal is so gruesome in places and yet so matter of fact because our killer is just a normal guy going about his normal everyday things yet he carries with him a deep dark secret.

It's pretty unnerving feeling empathy for a murderer and it is really scary to just how normal a serial killer can be. Totally reminiscent of Ted Bundy and all his charm when he was on his killing spree in the US. You can't help but like the killer as a character and find yourself rooting for him when he begins to fall in love. I couldn't help but make comparisons between our killer in Normal and the serial killer Dexter from the US TV series of the same name. Of course Dexter's reasons for killing were for quite different reasons & I'm not sure that I understood our killer's reasons for murder other than he just enjoyed the hunt.

This is a truly chilling read but had just the amount of dark humour that makes being in the head of a cold blooded killer just that little bit easier. Normal was twisted and horrifying beyond belief but so compelling & I just couldn't but it down. Well worth the read.

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