The Edge of Normal: Book summary and reviews of The Edge of Normal by Carla Norton

The Edge of Normal

by Carla Norton

The Edge of Normal by Carla Norton X
The Edge of Normal by Carla Norton
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2013
    320 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"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 Winner of a Royal Palm Literary Award for best unpublished mystery, this nail-bitingly delicious tale will be a treat for psychological thriller fans."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

The information about The Edge of Normal shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

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Cheryl K. (East Aurora, NY)

"Ripped from the Headlines....."
Carla Norton's novel, The Edge of Normal, could have been just another story of abduction, depravity,horror, rescue......taken from our daily newspapers. Ms. Norton told her story as if she had experienced every horrific moment that Reeve, Tilly, Hannah, Abby suffered.

Her characters are extremely expressive, particularly Reeve. I would highly recommend this book to readers who love a psychological thriller that not only is difficult to put down, but also stays in your mind and heart well after finishing it.

Tracy N. (Mill Valley, CA)

An Intelligent Psychological Thriller!
An intelligent psychological thriller…. Reeve LeClaire, 22 years old, is trying to regain her life. It has been six years since her kidnapping and horrific years of captivity. With the help of her psychiatrist she struggles to recover to "normal". When another kidnapped girl is rescued, Reeve is asked to mentor the victim. Drawn by the similarities between their cases, Reese begins to connect the dots on a serial sadistic kidnapper with eventual repercussions.

Reeve is a tough, smart, and my new hero! A captivating and timely novel by Carla Norton. This author clearly knows her subject matter as her previous non-fiction book- Perfect Victim is used by the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit and makes her an expert in captivity and survival. As a psychiatric nurse who worked in the prison system and with victims of crime, this is a very real page-turner!

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.

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!

Judy K. (Oshkosh, WI)

What is Normal?
The literary style of this book is amazing.

This book is one that I was afraid to read because of the psychological insight of a thriller. I was ready to read with one eye closed.

The Edge of Normal is about a young girl who is trying to get her life back after a kidnapping. She finds that helping others also helps herself. This book is a thriller and does keep you guessing on how life will go on when a tragedy does strike.

I was able to read with both eyes open. The thriller was not as scary as I expected. Though, some of the details, I was uncomfortable reading. This book would be a good book club read. It has many issues in the book that one can dig out and discuss.

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.

...26 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Carla Norton

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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