Normal: A Novel by Graeme Cameron

 This is the current month’s read at the Kindle English Mystery Book Club on Goodreads.  In a word, Normal:  A Novel  was fantastic.  Told from the perspective of a “normal” man who happens to be your neighborhood serial killer.  I am sure that comparisons to Dexter will be made, however Normal is essentially British in humor and voice.  The reason this book excels though is  the women’s voices.  They are unique, well developed, and multi-faceted, each woman brings something different to the novel. His relationship with each of them is complex, they are not just prey or tools.

The reader sees growth and change in the protagonist and like him (at least I did).  He is unapologetic for who and what he is, just laying it out in a blunt straight forward manner.  He at one point even says that he was “…born,not made…”  absolving anyone or any circumstance of fault for his actions.  He is self critical, reflecting on his mistakes, whether they be regarding a choice of victim or locking his keys inside his van.

Engaging, fast paced read for fans of crime fiction!

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Persuading Annie by Melissa Nathan

Last night’s read was this chick lit form Melissa Nathan.  Persuading Annie centers around Annie Markham and her “family”, two sisters, a best friend, a godmother, a father and maybe wanna be stepmother.  The family is wealthy but in financial trouble and they hire a consultant to get them out of it by saving the family business.  The consultant turns out to be a man that Annie had been involved with a young college student.

THis didn’t work for me…at all.  The characters were either carboard cutouts or too stupid to live.  The issues were thrown at you in a something for everyone type fashion,  infertility issues, being a “bad mother”, bulemia, older men with younger women, losing a mother in childhood, manipulation,  and jealousy.  All placed in a setting of extraordinary entitlement and wealth.  I just couldn’t relate.