Normal by Graeme Cameron
The title of Graeme Cameron’s deviously funny premiere novel is called Normal, though the contents of the book are anything but. The unnamed protagonist is someone you really shouldn’t root for, yet Cameron writes with skill, giving the character a strange sort of humanity, and such humor that you’ll find yourself guiltily cheering for him anyway.
He’s a serial killer. He tends to keep his victims alive in his basement for a short time, and is both competent in and dedicated to his chosen hobby. He’s been doing it for so long that such a life is- for him- completely normal. He regularly goes out food shopping for his captives, not wanting to add “bad host” to his reputation, when something happens that turns his life inside out…
He falls in love. She is perfect for him in every way, except that she doesn’t know his little secret. Suddenly he has both the incentive (and even the desire) to be good. However, the cops are beginning to suspect him, and with a victim who might be just as dangerous as himself still in the basement, his formerly comfortable life is in danger of falling apart.
It isn’t recommended for people who prefer lighter, cozier works, but if you prefer your humor black and your protagonist ethically unsavory, Normal is for you. Fans of NBC’s Hannibal and Showtime’s Dexter might get a kick out of it.
Sara J. Ingle is a Circulation Assistant at Mebane Public Library. She can be reached at the faintly humorous and entirely accurate email address of email@example.com, or at 919-563-6431.