NetGalley Top Reviewer

NetGalley Top Reviewer
NetGalley Top Reviewer

Friday, February 6, 2015

Normal by Graeme Cameron

2.8 out of 5 stars -- Disturbing psychological thriller told from the point of view of a sociopathic serial killer.

First off, this unnamed male is definitely not DEXTER. He doesn't prey on criminals who've somehow escaped justice -- this guy is no righteous vigilante. Instead, he roams the supermarkets and neighborhood seeking women to imprison in his cage below the garage on his property. There's no particular reason why he chooses one over another, why he stalks one, or why he strikes and kills suddenly as if on an impetuous whim. He is just a regular guy, nothing special, so he slips around town in his specially made Transit to abduct and/or murder. Just a normal guy, nothing remarkable that stands out about him. Except for the fact that he's a psycho with some series issues that actually don't make the reader want to understand him better. How to explain the things he does?

Narrated in the first person, this novel puts the reader inside the mind of a guy who can seemingly "fall in love" with one woman while keeping another caged in his garage. Meanwhile, the police are snooping around his property and things start to get really dicey. I kept reading only because I wanted to see how this all played out, though there were so many contradictions in the behavior of the main characters that their actions didn't make sense in many instances. Pray tell, however, why the police have no weapons or defense equipment of any kind? Seems crazy to go after a suspicious character armed with nothing but a badge.

I really did not enjoy this book and I did not want to spend any more time trying to figure out this guy or spend any more time in his head. With an ambiguous conclusion, the author allowed me to get the closure I felt was deserved as I imagined Mr. Normal's future. I don't develop empathy for sociopathic killers, don't want to understand them, I just want them caught, stopped, and punished appropriately. This was a grisly read and I'm glad to be done with the book. I think anyone you enjoyed the book YOU by Caroline Kepnes would like this one too.

I'm thankful, however, to Harlequin UK and NetGalley for the opportunity to read the e-book ARC. 

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