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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.
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.
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.
Nancy G. (Oceanside, CA)
The Edge of Normal
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.
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.
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.
Connie H. (Evanston, IL)
The Edge of Normal by Carla Norton
The book moves fast as Reeve works to find the identity of the kidnapper and avoid being captured.
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.
Shaun D. (Woodridge, IL)
Timely & Revealing
The subject matter of this book is incredibly timely as the 3 women held captive in a basement in OH, a woman held captive in France, have recently been freed and are slowly revealing parts of their incredible stories. I would say if this sort of real-life tragedy interests you then you will really like this book. I recently purchased the audio-CD version of Jaycee Dugard's story because I wanted to literally hear it in her own words. Parts were heart- & gut- wrenchingly hard to read / hear, yet Jaycee & the narrator of this book (also a former captive) relate the information in this matter-of-fact, almost clinical, detached, type of manner. While this book is classified as fiction, it certainly seems very accurate, and b/c of which, some parts are very hard to read thru, b/c your mind replaces Reeve (protagonist) with the young women from OH or Jaycee Dugard. The book provides some insight into the kidnapper/rapist/molester's mind which is a very unpleasant place to be. But it's the strength of will of Reeve (& others) for which you cheer (& weep). If the real-life situations intrigue you then you'll definitely want to read this book.
Barbara C. (Hawthorn Woods, IL)
The Edge of Normal
This book was definitely a page turner. Once I read the first page I was hooked and could not put it down, despite the disturbing content and pretty graphic descriptions of the kidnapping situation. The Author sometimes writes in the present tense, which serves to keep the story tense and immediate. The dialogue and situations involving the psychological effects of hostage situations and longtime confinement were interesting and seemed to relate well to the characters and plot.
Reeve, the main character, was well drawn and the title, The Edge of Normal, described her well - After being held for 6 years, what is "normal" and will she ever get there? However, it was a little beyond belief that she would not have gone to the authorities when she discovered Tilley's secret, and that she would have solved the case herself, but for the sake of the story's plot it worked.
The two authorities, Jackie Burke and Nick Hudson were too strident and negative to be realistic. It seemed that they would have tried more to help Reeve and follow her leads. Also, Duke was too evil to be believed. He was such a one-sided character, and it got tiresome that he had such a "bead" on everyone. How could Reeve every think that Nick was attractive after he scorned her?
I thought about this book long after I had read it, and couldn't imagine the horrors the girls went through. Seems like the author did her homework in researching the effects of kidnapped captivity.