Author: Graeme Cameron
First published March 31, 2015
300 pages, Hardcover
ISBN: 9780778318507 (ISBN10: 0778318508)
He’s just like any other guy in your neighborhood. He lives in a modest house and he’s always eager to lend a hand.
He shops at the same grocery store as you do, and when you run into him, he’s always quick to flash a friendly smile. But what you don’t know is that he’s been living a double life—a life that involves an underground cage in his basement and a young woman trapped there against her will.
And she’s not the first. For years, he’s been able to keep his dark secrets hidden.
But when he meets a woman who sees through his facade, things start to change. Suddenly, he’s not content with just keeping his victim alive—he wants to set her free.
But with the police closing in and his own demons threatening to consume him, he knows it won’t be easy. And he still has one more person locked up in his basement.
Will he be able to muster the courage to face the truth about himself before it’s too late?
Normal by Graeme Cameron: A Dark and Twisted Thriller
Graeme Cameron’s Normal is a psychological thriller that delves into the mind of a serial killer. Although the genre has been explored numerous times before, Cameron’s take on it is fresh, unique, and gruesome.
Published on March 31, 2015, by Mulholland Books, Normal tells the story of a peculiar man named Peter Brown, who is not so normal after all. The novel introduces Peter Brown as a seemingly ordinary guy, but as the story progresses, it is revealed that he is actually an infamous serial killer who has managed to go unnoticed for years thanks to his impeccable ability to blend in.
Normal is told from the serial killer’s perspective, giving readers an uncomfortable and often disturbing insight into his mind. Cameron’s writing style is heavily descriptive and visceral, making the reader feel like they are entrenched in the darkness that surrounds Peter Brown.
The author takes great care in developing Peter’s character, making him more than just a one-dimensional killer. The story also includes other prominent characters, such as Detective Franke and Peter’s girlfriend, which add depth to the plot.
The conflicts in Normal are centered around Peter’s attempts to keep his sinister secret from being discovered. This builds up the tension throughout the novel, keeping readers on the edge of their seats.
Cameron’s writing is well-paced, shifting between introspection and action effortlessly. Although most readers might find Peter’s actions and thoughts unpalatable, his character is so well realized that it is difficult not to feel for him.
With Normal, Cameron expertly tackles the themes of identity, perception, and the human psyche. He delves deep into the emotions that drive a person to commit heinous crimes and explores how society shapes and defines our sense of normalcy.
Cameron’s writing is subtle yet impactful, maintaining a level of detachment from the horrific events that unfold but still managing to leave a mark on the reader. Normal is not for the faint-hearted, as it contains graphic descriptions of violence and gore.
Despite this, the novel manages to be a compelling and enthralling read, making it one of the best in its genre. However, the book’s strength might also be its biggest weakness as its intense subject matter can be unsettling for some readers.
Overall, Normal is a dark and twisted thriller that keeps the reader hooked until the very end. Cameron’s writing is exceptional, and his characterizations are nuanced and well-rounded.
The author’s take on the genre is fresh and unique, offering a perspective that is both subversive and unsettling. For fans of the psychological thriller genre, Normal is an absolute must-read.