NORMAL by Graeme Cameron


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Cameron’s novel inserts readers into the life of a man who is anything but what the title implies—normal.

Nameless throughout the novel, the main character’s personal boundaries fall well outside what’s considered acceptable beyond a maximum security prison or mental hospital for the criminally insane, and Cameron wastes no time getting down to the killing. The first victim introduced is Sarah, an 18-year-old whose brief live appearance only foreshadows her larger role as a victim. But the poor killer had a bad childhood: His mother left him in the custody of his brutal father, so naturally, Daddy Dearest became the first victim. He then moved on to more interesting subjects, like young women. After slaying Sarah, he carves her up like a side of beef, because, after all, he has another mouth to feed: He’s holding Erica Shaw hostage in his specially built underground facility. Erica’s proven to be a bit of a difficult case, though. She throws the food he provides her and, wisely, as it turns out, refuses to eat it. Although the reader never knows why he insists on keeping Erica alive while stalking new prey, he even goes grocery shopping for her. And it’s there that he eventually meets the one woman who changes everything. In the meantime, he prevents a girl named Annie—originally intended as a victim—from being raped and picks up a hapless hooker who has a very different fate from Annie’s. Soon his new infatuation, his prisoner and the police collide, causing all hell to break loose in ways that even a creative serial killer couldn’t have envisioned.

A black comedy featuring a bizarre murderer who believes he suffers for his “art.” Cameron has written a painfully funny story that’s littered with corpses, both intentional and unintentional, and proves that sometimes spotting the craziest person on the block isn’t quite as easy as it seems.

Pub Date: March 31st, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-7783-1850-7
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2015


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