Normal by Graeme Cameron
Wow. I feel like I have a book hangover after reading this book. It was amazing, like nothing else I’ve read this year. I love originality, and it is one of the reasons I love Stephen King so much. When you pick up one of his books, you know you are reading something not replicated elsewhere, and this is how I felt about this debut novel by Graeme Cameron.
I almost didn’t read this book. The first few lines took me aback and as much as serial killers fascinate me, I don’t like gore. As I read on I realised I was wrong, and this wasn’t a slasher killer novel at all. It is in fact a cleverly written insight into the mind of a killer. An ordinary man, someone you could walk past on the street, or buy your newspaper from in the morning. It feels wrong on so many levels, as you find yourself having empathy for the killer, someone you should abhor. Graeme does this by using humour and complicated relationships with other people to draw you into his world. It becomes a read you just can’t put down and I’m very grateful to the author, publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a preview copy.
The only downside is that sometimes it felt a little disjointed. There were times when I wasn’t sure what was going on, and had to concentrate to get back into the story. You are given the tiniest insight into his background, and I would have loved to have known more. But that’s minor compared to the story on a whole, and the very vivid descriptions given which made you feel like you were there. I have found a new author to follow. I will certainly read Graeme’s next book and wish him every success.