“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.
Okay, let’s start of by saying I loved this book! I listened on Audible, which included the extra dimension of Julian Elfer’s narration; he made our protagonist (whose name I’m pretty sure is never mentioned) sound perfectly normal, despite being a psychopath. The first person narrative works well, and gives the reader great (and often funny) insight into the mind of a serial killer. Someone who knows what he is, and knows that he cannot help or change that.
But when he falls for a girl in the supermarket, he has reason to try to do so. And seeing him try, not always successfully, is a real joy. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not the sort to ordinarily sympathise with serial killers, but Normal is so cleverly written by Cameron, it’s difficult not to.
A real gem and highly recommended. Especially on audio, if you can, to get the full effect of Elfer’s narration.