Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Normal - Graeme Cameron - darkly humorous and quirky

The blurb:

He lives in your community, in a nice house with a well-tended garden. He shops in your grocery store, bumping shoulders with you as you pass him and apologizing with a smile. He drives beside you on the highway, politely waving to let 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. One small problem--he still has someone trapped in his garage.

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

My thoughts
Really enjoyed this quirky book but not quite up to 5 stars for me, found it a little too far fetched but loved the laugh out loud dark humour throughout.

Narrated by a serial killer who keeps a girl captive in a cage in his purpose built cellar, you could be forgiven for expecting it to be a different take on Room Having read that its dark and horrible what I didn't expect was to be laughing so much. The storyline really kept ME captivated, as the narrator develops from sociopathic mass murderer to socially responsible, misunderstood, love-lorn sweetie almost overnight by dint of meeting the right girl.

Its almost too much to believe in, nay it IS too much to believe, but if you can suspend your disbelief and just go with it its a really entertaining and lively, quirky thriller with some great characters.

I loved Annie and felt she was actually the turning point for our reluctant heros change of heart. Erica is one seriously mixed up chick, and Rachel - well she is just plain weird, I'd have liked some input in her voice so we could get to know her motivations.

What I didn't really get from it was much emotional involvement, perhaps thats because the narrator is obviously so far FROM normal that his emotions are flawed and skewed, but I did thoroughly enjoy reading it and it had me fascinated and coming back for more.

My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher Harlequin for my review copy.

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