Early Review: Normal by Graeme Cameron

Posted March 30th, 2015 in book review / 24 comments

Early Review: Normal by Graeme CameronNormal by Graeme Cameron
Publisher: Mira on March 31, 2015
Genres: Dark, Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads
Rating: four-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.

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

At A Glance

Who doesn’t love being in the mind of a serial killer???

The Good

Let’s be honest. This book got 3 stars from me right away just because it was about a serial killer. Then another star for being awesome. I love being in the POV of a killer. It’s creepy, scary, and fascinating. Normal people just don’t think that way so it’s interesting to see how a killer thinks and works.

Don’t go into this book expecting our guy to be a nice guy. He kills, often gruesomely. At first, he has no conscious. He enjoys what he does. It was perfect how we never knew much about him. He’s nameless and faceless. We just get a general idea. He’s average looking, I think, and he is meticulous. He has killed for some time and is very good at it…until he isn’t. Stupid mistakes lead the cops to his doorstep but he always seems to get away with everything. It’s awesome.

Erica is the star of this story though. She’s one of the girls he locks up in his basement. But she is a defiant little shit! She fights him tooth and nail the whole time. I can’t believe how much her character arc progressed. Near the end, I was shocked with her actions but I understood how she was driven to go a little insane, well, maybe a lot insane.

I am so happy I got to read Normal. It kept my attention the whole way through and I never knew how it was all going to end. I was very surprised.

The Bad

I just don’t buy it. A serial killer turning good guy? Cameron gave it a good effort, but it just didn’t work for me. I wanted it too, but…no.

The ending left me feeling meh. I am okay with non-HEA’s but I don’t like a story ending in the middle of the story. Definitely a cliffhanger I didn’t enjoy.

The Snuggly

So, yeah, there is romance, but it’s odd. Well, duh! We have a serial killer falling in love with a normal girl. What did I expect? It was sweet but still weird. I can’t really explain it more than that though.

Final Thoughts

Not everyone is going to love Normal. It’s a particular taste. But for those who love odd, creepy reads, you are going to fall in love…with a serial killer!!! Very recommended.


No quotes from an ARC, sorry.


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24 Responses to “Early Review: Normal by Graeme Cameron”

  1. Olivia

    Wow! From the cover of this book it is like nothing I expected it to be – even though I am not sure what I expected it to be. I think the idea of a serial killer book is so cool – but as you said I wouldn’t believe him going good at the end. That’s a bit far fetched.

  2. Benish

    I love creepy novels, so I shall pick this one up soon – & I agree, usually serial killers don’t turn good.. great review x

  3. Red Iza

    I’ve read a similar review to yours : great to read about a serial killer like you’re inside his mind, but the romance part ?… I think I have 2 books with serial killer romances, don’t know how they’ll turn out ! I’m curious to read Cameron, though 🙂

    • Jennifer Bielman

      serial killer romances are words that should never be put together. LMAO

  4. kindlemom1

    So many people are loving this! I put in a last minute request for it on Netgalley and I am hoping like heck they approve me because I so want to read this!
    Wonderful review!

  5. Braine

    I should pay more attention to blurbs and less.on the covers. I keep on missing gems like this. You and I have the same twisted tastes… which is why I follow you. I will be adding this to my TBR most definitely

  6. Christy

    Ah, I loved this so much. It was funny watching him struggle with new feelings, but that instinct never really went away. I mean, he still couldn’t resist even when he was trying to be good. lol. Dude, Erica freaking rocked. Ha! I thought the ending was great. He got away with so much, and it looked like he would again even after all that shit went down – partially because we know what Erica’s fate is. Then that last scene sealed *his* fate. It was over for him. Perfecto!

    • Jennifer Bielman

      But what the hell was on the table????? Am I missing something? What got him caught, if he is caught? I hate not knowing. But yeah, Erica fucking rocked!

      • Christy

        Remember how he setup that monitoring system and watched the cage on the TV? Erica had been watch it last when he was in the cage and left it on. The door to the cage was open and that other agent found it. When the woman agent was talking to ‘our guy’ her phone kept going off but she ignored it. Then when they sat down and noticed the TV was showing that agent in the cage trying to call her to tell what he found. Our guy and the agent just looked at each other realizing what it was … Bam, it’s over for him. It didn’t matter that Erica would die with the truth, he’s caught.

        • Jennifer Bielman

          OOOOOOOHHHHHH! Why didn’t I get that? Was is obvious? Or are your just other-worldly intelligent? 😉 Maybe he can explain that the cage was for a….dog? A dog that needed a toilet and bed. bwahahahaha. Or like his girlfriend thought, he’s into kinky shit!

  7. lily

    how did i miss this one? We seem to both like the really twisted and messed up books but somehow i completely missed this one and now i’m upset since this one sounds like it is RIGHT UP MY ALLEY! Seriously… this dude is creepy and i just want to know more about him and this mysterious new girl and ALL THE OTHERS. Great review!

    • Jennifer Bielman

      LOL, you are going to have to get this book eventually. It’s too odd not to try out.

  8. Lekeisha

    I’d most definitely read this book. I’m fascinated by serial killers. Not in a creepy I-want-to-marry-one type of way, but just curiosity as to the why’s and how’s. Great review!

    • Jennifer Bielman

      I love series killers, but yeah, not in the creepy way. They just fascinate me. The way they think is so freaky.

  9. Melliane

    Oh it’s too bad about the end but you’re right, that’s great that it’s from the POV of the villain for once. It’s quite intriguing like that.

  10. Jaclyn Canada

    I don’t usually go for creepy reads, but I do watch all those documentaries about serial killers just because it’s freaking crazy how their mind works. I bet this was an interesting one for sure. Great review!

    • Jennifer Bielman

      I watch the documentaries too! That’s why I loved this book so much.

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