In many ways, Reeve LeClaire looks like a typical twenty-two year old girl. She's finally landed her own apartment, she waitresses to pay the bills, and she wishes she wasn't so nervous around new people. She thinks of herself as agile, not skittish. As serious, not grim. But Reeve is anything but normal.
Ten years ago, she was kidnapped and held captive. After a lucky escape, she's spent the last six years trying to rebuild her life, a recovery thanks in large part to her indispensable therapist Dr. Ezra Lerner. But when he asks her to help another girl rescued from a similar situation, Reeve realizes she may not simply need to mentor this young victim - she may be the only one who can protect her from a cunning predator who is still out there, watching every move.
From the author of the #1 non-fiction bestseller Perfect Victim: The True Story of the Girl in the Box comes a novel that draws you into a chilling and engrossing world. With powerfully gripping characters and an ending that is a masterpiece of deception, Carla Norton's The Edge of Normal is a stunning debut thriller.
"Starred Review. Reeve's realistic maturation into a woman who refuses to remain a victim adds to the intriguing story." - Publishers Weekly
"Starred Review. Norton has created a page-turner with well-developed characters, a truly horrible villain, and the psychological depth of Jonathan Kellerman at his best." - Booklist
"Starred Review. Winner of a Royal Palm Literary Award for best unpublished mystery, this nail-bitingly delicious tale will be a treat for psychological thriller fans." - Library Journal
"Norton (Perfect Victim, 1988) skillfully develops her tricky subject, gradually shifting from an emphasis on its tabloid aspects to a close identification with the victim/heroine in a story of justice served by the one who deserves it most." - Kirkus
"This novel is brilliant. A perfect blend of literary style, psychological insight and edge-of-the-seat thriller. From journalist Poe to protagonist Reeve - and a particularly horrific incarnation of evil along the way - Norton has given us living, breathing characters that we know and understand ... and who inhabit our imaginations after we've finished this book." - Jeffery Deaver
"The Edge of Normal is a heart-pounding thrill ride that had me holding my breath to the very end. With a compelling, tough-as-nails heroine and a truly terrifying villain, this is a book you won't soon forget." - Chevy Stevens
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Rated of 5
The Edge of Normal
I found The Edge of Normal pretty predictable and plodding. Not a lot of surprises and the storyline was tedious at times. If you're looking for a real edge-of-your-seat thriller with unpredictable plot twists and shocks and surprises I would recommend Daniel Silva's 'The English Girl'. It too involves a kidnapping, violence and people who aren't who or what they seem. Suffice it to say 'Edge/Normal' read and felt like a 1st effort / author's debut. It felt like a short story you'd read in a magazine but 200 pages too long.
Rated of 5
Julie B. (Culver, IN)
The Edge of Normal
Reeve LeClaire seems like a typical twenty-two year old girl, but she is anything but normal. Ten years earlier, she was kidnapped and held captive. After a lucky escape, she's spent the last six years trying to rebuild her life. But when her therapist asks her to help another girl rescued from a similar situation, Reeve realizes she may not simply need to mentor this young victim. She learns that there is still a predator that hasn't been found. This book is a definite page turner that I found hard to put down. And, if I had to, I was still thinking about the characters and what was coming next. The story is played out from Reeve's point of view as well as the predators. We don't find out who the predator really is until the last pages. I will definitely recommend this book to friends.
Rated of 5
Robert S. (Henderson, NV)
Direct From Today's Headlines
Detailing the kidnapping, imprisonment and torture of young innocent girls and the search for the evil minds behind these heinous crimes "The Edge of Normal" is as current and frightening as today's headlines. Addressing a subject that, sadly, is so real, however, presents a special challenge to the author whose task is to elevate the story beyond the nightly news. Ms. Norton meets the challenge with a creative and compelling layered plot, thoughtful structure and effective character development especially in the person of the antagonist who is as diabolical, conniving and heartless as Hannibal Lechter. Sick and deranged to the core the villain invades the reader's conscious and remains long after the book's final page.
The book is not without its flaws. In the early part of the story the author is so intent upon educating the reader about the psychological impact of imprisonment and torture that the book takes on the air of a mediocre docudrama. Moreover, much of the dialogue is stilted and trite, and the climatic ending is somewhat ordinary, particularly in relationship to the exciting buildup that precedes it.
All in all, though, this is a good read and would be an excellent choice for a mystery book club.
Rated of 5
Nancy G. (Oceanside, CA)
The Edge of Normal
I liked this book very much. It was a page-turner and certainly very timely in subject matter. All of us have been shocked and sickened by the number of young women - and even girls - who have been discovered and rescued from sexual predators in recent times. The main character in this book suffered years of imprisonment and sexual abuse and torture before she escaped and went into therapy. When asked to assist in the therapy of another such victim she reluctantly agreed. Parts of this book were a little predictable but exciting none-the-less. I will suggest this book for a future read for my book discussion group.
Rated of 5
Debbie M. (Grand Junction, CO)
The edge of Normal
An interesting thriller, The Edge of Normal explores the lives of kidnapped victims. Reeve was kidnapped and escaped and is now helping another victim deal with life after captivity. Unknown to them, they are both on the kidnapper's radar and in danger.
The book moves fast as Reeve works to find the identity of the kidnapper and avoid being captured.
Rated of 5
Connie H. (Evanston, IL)
The Edge of Normal by Carla Norton
Bestselling true crime author Carla Norton delivers her first novel, The Edge of Normal. After four-years of captivity and six-years of therapy, twenty-two year old Reeve LeClaire decides to help when a thirteen-year-old girl is rescued from a year of imprisonment. Avoiding many of the gritty details of what these victims suffered at the hands of their captors, Norton draws a complex character striving to recover her life despite intrusions from the public, the media and law enforcement. Timely and compelling, this book should have wide appeal. Even the anticipated final showdown kept me on the edge of my seat.
Carla Norton is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Perfect Victim, which the FBI put on their Behavioral Sciences Unit reading list. She served as the special sections editor for the San Jose Mercury News and has written for numerous publications. She has an MFA from Goddard College and has twice served as a judge for the Edgar Awards. The Edge of Normal, which won a Royal Palm Literary Award for best unpublished mystery, is her debut novel. She lives in California and Florida. Visit her at www.carlanorton.com
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