By: Graeme Cameron
Publication Date: 3/31/2015
My Rating: 2 Stars
"The truth is I hurt people. It's what I do. It's all I do. It's all I've ever done."
He lives in your community, in a nice house with a well-tended garden. He shops in your grocery store, bumping shoulders with you and apologizing with a smile. He drives beside you on the highway, politely waving you into the lane ahead of him.
What you don't know is that he has an elaborate cage built into a secret basement under his garage. And the food that 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.
Then he meets the checkout girl from the 24-hour grocery. And now the plan, the hunts, the room…the others. He doesn't need any of them anymore. He needs only her. But just as he decides to go straight, the police start to close in. He might be able to cover his tracks, except for one small problem—he still has someone trapped in his garage.
A special thank you to Harlequin, MIRA and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
NORMAL by Graeme Cameron is told in the first person, an unnamed killer, whose favorite pastime is trolling the neighborhood and abducting women and killing them. From the mysterious front cover, the summary, and the first 3% of the book, I was ready to settle in for a chilling psychological thriller. The positives stop here. From this point on, it declines quickly, and if I had not requested it through NetGalley, I would have thrown this one aside before the 10% mark. I literally put it down numerous times, and was not going to invest the time to finish, as I have too many other great books, sitting on my shelf. However, I continued to read, thinking it would get better and unfortunately it never happened. If you like the F word, every other word, and writing which is all over the board, with odd characters, which make no sense…maybe this one is for you. For me it was not even twisted humor. It did not hold my interest and overall, a non-engaging read. The only character with any sort of intelligent dialogue was Annie. First, who wants to read a book which refers to “I” the entire book, with no background? I think the author may have been going for dark humor, which again was unable to pull off, in my opinion. By reading the author’s notes at the end, he is inviting readers to "fill in the blanks with a monster who may be normal, individual to you. Everyman-because that‘s who this killer is". If you are going to do this, make him interesting enough to keep reading. I do not typically give negative reviews, reading more than 500 books a year; however, I felt this one was a total waste of my time, a huge disappointment--unable to recommend.