Review: Normal

March 31, 2015 book review, fiction, Mira, pschological thriller 1


  • Written by:  Graeme Cameron
  • Published by:  MIRA, an imprint of Harlequin, March 31, 2015
  • Length:  294 pages
  • Source: Publisher sent copy of the book in exchange for an honest review

Summary:  “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.

My Thoughts:  From page one we meet our protagonist, he is telling our story, we never learn his name, no one addresses him by his name.  He is in the middle of a murder as we meet him, describing in great detail what he learns about her as he is in her home, and appears to dismember her, and promptly clean up after himself.  The information is disturbing as it’s told so matter of fact, his normal routine one can assume.  Something goes wrong as he is about to leave. We then meet Erica.

Erica is held in his basement, in a cage.  She has no idea what his plans are for her.

Our creepy friend then goes about his life, cooking, shopping, looking for women.  He is taken with a girl from the grocery, there is a question about her name, the two tags she appears to be wearing, but he finally discerns she is Rachel, and she becomes his new passion.  Only he wants to be with her in a good way, to talk to her, to hold her, touch her, but can he stop every thing else?  How can he manage Erica in his basement cage?  How can he manage the police he seems to have tipped off in a careless move he made in a dodgy area?

This book holds it’s reader in the mind of this psychopath. We know he is a murderer, we know he’s held others captive, but we never learn to what extent.  His every thought, action and words are shared, so twisted and weird, the reader begins to anticipate what grisly act he might next perpetrate.

This book was nearly perfect, the details, the thoughts, so much drama.  I was pulled into each new page and chapter, waiting for what was next.  My emotions of hating him, and then feeling sorry for him were all over the place.  Did I want him to be caught or to find love and runaway?  So difficult to say which way I was cheering for.  The dark side of me was so drawn to this book, it was very good!

I highly recommend this book if you enjoy a psychological thriller, you won’t be disappointed.  Learn more about the author at and look for him on Facebook and Twitter.

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