Ann B. (Bethlehem, PA)
An Edgy Read
The Edge of Normal certainly has a current event theme, namely, Cleveland, Ohio's recent kidnap scene. At the heart of Edge... is a depraved serial kidnapper and rapist. I applaud Carla Norton for not becoming overly graphic in her details of rape and torture, but nonetheless the subject is still disturbing. She presents a plethora of short chapters with frequent stops and starts, forcing the reader to continue always seeking resolutions.
The action flows from person to person, but the protagonist, Reeve, a victim of kidnapping herself, while very likable, is not believable in her quick rise to complete control and competency in her efforts to reclaim her life and return to normal. The kidnapper, Duke, must have a story, but we never really understand him. He is but a one dimensional character who has immense power over people and oozes evil.
The Edge of Normal is a thriller and Carla Norton has used her life experience to create a good story, but for me, a bit too predictable with some loose endings needing to be tied.
Melissa H. (McKees Rocks, PA)
Edge of Creepy
It's been a long time since I've stayed up to the wee hours to finish a book!! While it started slow for me, it gained momentum and certainly ended with a bang! What a horribly evil antagonist!! The alternating chapters between the antagonist and protagonist kept the story flowing to the climatic ending. Looking forward to more by Ms. Norton!
Lisa S. (Bethlehem, PA)
The edge of normal
While the edge of normal held my attention through out the book I did find some details to be a bit disturbing. I did, however, find the relationship between Reeve & Tilly comforting. Both dealing with horrific events in their lives, past & present, they somehow find the courage to help each other change their lives. This was my first book review, so please forgive my lack of words! I would like to add one more thing, while finishing this book late one night I got called out to my job, as I was getting in my car I found myself checking the back seats of my car as well as underneath it. I thought to myself, if the author was hoping to have written a good thriller she hit the nail on the head!
Sandy P. (Gainesville, FL)
How ironic. . . .
...that this book is being released on the heels of the three captive girls being found recently in Cleveland. This book does a good job of maintaining tension and interest to the very end. Is their one kidnapper or an accomplice? Several handlers involved? How and why were they specifically chosen? I liked the inclusion of a prior kidnapping victim, Reeve, called upon to aid the families and victims recover from their fears and anxieties. Reeve herself is still in the recovery stage. I thought the author was going to take the easy way out by going with the 'obvious' conclusion but keep reading to the end. There are sufficient twists and elements of surprise. Definitely worth the time. I found this to be one I couldn't put down for very long.
Carol J. (Isle, MN)
Mystery with a message
I always enjoy a good mystery and Carla Norton's "The Edge of Normal" did not disappoint. Additionally, the book had a message regarding abduction and torture of women and young girls. I had to pause to think of the abducted victims were people and not just characters in a book; this happens in real life.
One of my criteria for a mystery is predictability and realism. There were enough times that Ms. Norton surprised me to say the book was not completely predictable. I held a variety of characters as options of the perpetrator in my mind. I do wonder what Ms. Norton's experience with this particular subject; seems as if she writes from an insider's perspective.
I look forward to another novel from this writer.
Marilyn J. (Harvey, ND)
A one-sitting read for me
This story was a riveting portrait of both men who take girls/women and of the women themselves. Compared to the last such book I read (Room) which I thought was phony and silly, this story was realistic and believable. Not only was it a psychological thriller, but it also was a character study of both strength and evil. I thought perhaps some of Reeve's behavior would have been out of character, but perhaps that would be only my character! After being kidnapped, raped, and tortured for several years, I would never have had the courage and determination she had and couldn't have done what she did. She was a compelling, believable, well-developed character as were the other characters in the story. Reeve's adversary Duke also was a well-developed character, as were his accomplices. I think Norton is an excellent author, and she didn't have to waste words or time to make her characters alive and real. This was a riveting insight into the horrible acts of evil men against innocent women that seems to occur increasingly often. We all feel revulsion, empathy, and sorrow for those to whom this has happened, but we are curious as well. This book helps to explain the bond between the captor and the captives in a tightly-written thriller that made me read until I finished and to heck with the laundry! I highly recommend this book.
Barbara B. (Holbrook, NY)
Grabs you from the beginning and doesn't let you go
I am an avid reader of thrillers and this one of the best I have read. It is obvious the author is an expert in the field of abduction and the psychological terrors suffered by victims. I know there are many novels written in this genre, but this does stand apart. It's truly a roller coaster ride. I read another series of books which were similar but different in style and prose. You might want to try those as well, the Gretchen Lowell series.