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Normal by Graeme Cameron


Normal by Graeme Cameron ~Goodreads~
Published by MIRA 2015
Paperback 320 pages ~The Book Depository~

Firstly thank you to the author and for the publisher by sending me this book via Netgalley! :-)

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...

We're thrown into this novel knowing that this book is anything but 'normal'. A serial killer is rapidly killing young females around his local area, only one of them is in his garage basement locked up and given microwave meals, new clothes and various other amenities to keep her alive.

The narrator is the killer throughout this novel, although we're given a description of his personality we're not given an idea of how this killer looks like or even his name- this is given to us to think for ourselves of what he would be like. In my opinion he's definitely not bad looking, thus attracting numerous female's throughout the book and intelligent seeing as he's got away with murder- literally and incredibly charismatic to fool me into feeling sorry for him several times throughout the book.  

Again we're not given a backstory as to how he has become this way inclined, leaving all the interpretations to our own. Perhaps he was an orphan with little family who he could turn to, lacking in love and companionship? Who knows! All we're given is how he intends to kill his victims, mostly as a kind of "hunting" skill or catching them. There's no guessing where he gets his money from to pay for a big house and a seemingly large countryside estate, perhaps inheritance? 

Despite numerous amounts of visits from the police who seem close to finding out who is responsible for the numerous amount of murders, they're thrown off the path by the killer's lies and alibis from a female acquaintance who appears more than happy to help despite hardly knowing him, inviting him into her home and giving him a spare key. Definitely deprived of attention and therefore up for anyone showing her attention. This I put down to his charm and influence of perhaps being a good looking guy, showing attention to a vulnerable love-seeking woman.

This novel holds a lot of promise and I think despite the plot being a bit all over the place, the paranoia of the narrator and the sympathy we the reader feel for him is astonishing. At times I questioned myself if I was normal or not, feeling sorry for a serial killer? For me that was what made this book such a good read. I just wish the author gave us more to his character as to who he is and what pushed him to commit such crimes. That would have bumped up my star rating for sure. 

I could definitely discuss this book with others as its heavily induced with polarising opinions, this book made me think that I wasn't the normal one. What with the causal murders and the casual conversations with the girl who was kidnapped, this book made everything look like the norm when in reality it was anything but!

I'll be interested to see what Graeme Cameron writes next, this book is worthy of a 3.5 star for sure, with its black comedy, disturbing description and the ability of making me lose my mind of what was normal and what wasn't.

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