Normal by Graeme Cameron Review -- Killers Need Love Too.

Normal | Graeme Cameron
Pages: 304
Genre(s): Adult, Psychological Thriller
Release Date: March 31, 2015 | Mira
Edition: Kindle
Source: Purchased

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.

Discovering his humanity couldn't have come at a worse time.

Have you ever been out in public -- whether you're shopping, hanging out with friends, or just taking a solo stroll and think , " Mmm, which one of these men are serial killers? " & as you scanned the area, all of a sudden suspicious, did you think it was the short pale guy with the beady eyes, bushy eyebrows, and glasses too small for his face? I bet you mentally ruled him out. What about the gentlemen holding his wife's hand? The one with the salt & pepper hair, and who damn near drooled at the sight of another women's breast? His " wandering eyes " gave him the creepiest vibe, but you didn't rule him out, just mentally cataloged him under the " maybe-maybe-not " and the " possibly-just-a-cheating-bastard " category. 

But what about Mr.Tall-Dark-And-Damn-He's-So-Handsome? The one with the dark brown eyes that were hooded with mystery. Clean cut, with nerdy glasses that you knew weren't prescription. Beautiful creamy skin, that oddly smelled like Ivory soap & women's perfume. The same one you followed (no judging here girl) into the bookstore, as he browsed books he probably doesn't even read. The lad with the dazzling smile, and dimpled cheeks, that you bravely slid your number to after chatting about The Game Of Thrones. You didn't want it to be him, but you had a feeling right? This nagging feeling in the back of your mind. Woman's intuition? I think so baby. I mean HELLO, it's always the cute ones. 

So again, have you ever wondered WHO could be a serial killer? No? Well shit, me either. But after reading this book . . .

One, Two Freddy's Coming For You

" The truth is I hurt people. It's what I do. It's all I do. It's all I ever done. I'm not . . . normal. "

If you're reading this book expecting this crazed, sick, deranged serial killer, then I'll be the one to let the cat out of the box -- you won't find him here. In his place is the idea of this handsome guy, charming, VERY charming actually, with a great sense of humor. Dark humor, but still hilarious enough to make you giggle. He was shy in a way, not used to be around a ton of people, but still cool enough to blend in and have a good time. I would be a liar if I said I didn't like this guy, I may have even LOVED him. We don't know his name, or anything about him besides the " hobby " he does on his spare time. So how does that work? How in the world can I feel so invested in him, but yet I can read other stories about characters that I KNOW, and still don't have any type of connection with them? Clever is the word for this. The author just happens to be one clever man.

" I pulled her back inside and straddled her naked hips and pressed my thumbs into her windpipe, silencing her screams. I maintained my grasp long after her hands fell away and her legs stopped thrashing, after her disbelieving, panicked stare faded and her eyes rolled back in her head. I held on through the faint twitching, until my arms ached and my fingers cramped and every trace of pink had vanished from her skin. And even then, I held on some more. "

He see's you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake . . .

I buddy read Normal along with two of my favorite girls, Blessie @mischievousreads and Sarah @onecurvyblogger, and it was so interesting to see how differently we felt about the novel. While Blessie rated it 3 stars after the shift in his personality, Sarah and I loved it, rating it 4 and 5 stars. But even though we all enjoyed it, ALL of us had different views as to what happened, what didn't happened, and what should have happened, that it sparked an intense, but healthy debate on voxer.

 I absolutely, 100% loved this book. I've read stories about serial killers before, but THIS, this was different. It answered questions that we as humans ask when it comes to these sick individuals, " Why do they kill? Do they want to stop? Do they feel guilty for what they do? Can they fall in love? " and according to Normal, the answer to these questions is YES

From chapter 1 to the end, I was completely hooked. The story was so riveting, so engrossing, that I finished  it in less than a day. I read it out while running errands, and our character had me so on edge, that every man I passed that fit his description in my mind, was a suspect! The characters are bat-shit crazy in their own little way, (one was actually crazier than our serial killer!) and the romance while unexpected, pulled the story from the typical " I'm a serial killer and that's all the hell I do " to " I'm a serial killer, I'm falling in love,  and dammit I want to be normal, but there's no damn way I can." This was my favorite aspect of the story because it gave us the sense that this happens with killers, (Even though I'm pretty sure it does.) that they strive to live normal lives, but the urge of killing keeps them trapped in darkness forever.

The writing, so incredible in a sick and twisted way, sold a vision that these monsters actually have a completely different side to them . . . our serial killer most certainly did. Usually sharp as a tack, always ontop of his game, he became distracted by the idea of being in love. Like anyone, it clouded his judgement, he was no longer crossing his T's and dotting his I's. Instead he started slipping -- being careless, making mistakes he NEVER would've made otherwise. He was a killer for god's sake, BUT underneath was the flickering light of humanity, and Normal was fucking brilliant for showing us that.

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