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Linda S. (Carlsbad, CA)
The Edge of Normal
Unfortunately, the first half of the book did not grab my attention. The characters were not that well developed, and in spite of the subject matter, not particularly sympathetic. Identifying the perpetrator in the beginning of the book is not my favorite style of writing for mysteries/thrillers. However, about half way through the book I was curious as to how the perpetrator would be caught. His capabilities and modus operandi were not that believable. The plus for the book is making the reader more aware of the issues regarding missing and exploited children and how these children and their families deal with the trauma.
Sharon A. (Tierra Verde, FL)
Can't Wait For Her Next Book!
I haven't read such a good psychological thriller in a long time. The reader is hooked from the first page. The author keeps you on the edge of your seat, waiting for the next shoe to drop, the next twist in the plot. The characters walk right off the page. It was a book I couldn't put down, wanting to know what happens next and the author keeps you guessing. There were lots of characters, but the writing style of the author made them easy to keep track of. The use of real people that experienced a similar kidnapping gave credence to the the author's plot, letting the reader identify with what they have read in the news. Maybe there is another story to come about a more adult Reeve and her future career as a professional working with victims. Can't wait for the movie!
Amy H. (Benbrook, TX)
I absolutely loved this book. From the first chapter I was hooked on Reeve, and when I wasn't reading about her I worried about what was happening to her and the other girls in the story! I loved the main character (Reeve) and found her story very compelling. She is an intelligent women, wounded by past events but has overcome to be one tough broad - my favorite type of female protagonist. Book clubs will love this novel, because there are so many layers that the discussions will be very interesting. This book probably isn't appropriate for younger readers due to adult content but any adult who loves mysteries and thrillers will enjoy this great read.
Barbara L. (Novato, CA)
Who could be normal?
I was excited to receive my copy of The Edge of Normal. I love psychological suspense novels and this one delivers. Reeve LeClaire is trying very hard to get back to "normal" with the help of her therapist, after escaping from four years of terror and abuse in captivity. When she is asked to help another rescued kidnapping victim, she unwittingly puts herself in the sights of another "Monster".
Gripping and gratifying!
The writing in this novel is short and to the point, as are the chapters. This really works to keep you rapidly turning the pages, promising yourself - just one more chapter.
You will love this damaged, but very determined character as she moves out of her own limited comfort zone to help another try to return to normal. I read this in one day - devouring the pages as fast as I could.
This could be my favorite thriller of 2013! I was initially afraid that the subject matter would be too disturbing, but the writing is superb and the plot is so well drawn, I simply couldn't stop reading it. The way that the main characters' psychology is portrayed was also very fascinating. I absolutely enjoyed this book, and I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys a psychological thriller!
Kathleen W. (New Brighton, MN)
New Author Breaks New Ground for THIS Reader.
Carla Norton's THE EDGE OF NORMAL is an uncomfortable book to read. This is not because this debut author's publication is stale of plot or devoid of writing craft, quite the contrary. My reading discomfort was directly due to the timeliness of the abhorrent evil portrayed and the roaring success of Norton's writing in creating character and action for the reader. Author Carla Norton is THAT accomplished.
William Y. (Lynchburg, VA)
The Edge of Normal, by Carla Norton
Reeve LeClaire, age 22, is a survivor. She is a survivor of a 4-year kidnapping/sexual abuse existence and 6 years of ongoing therapy. Through the efforts of her more than capable therapist, Dr. Ezra Lerner, Reeve has come to understand the dynamics of captivity syndrome: both the long term angst of the victim and the continual cruelty and cunning manipulation of the predator. Together with Dr. Lerner, Reeve is asked by the Cavanaugh family to mentor their daughter Tilly, a recently rescued victim of an ongoing serial predator case. In so doing, Reeve becomes embroiled in the case itself and ultimately, plays a pivotal role in its conclusion.
With the reporting of the recent years-laden Cleveland, Ohio abduction of 3 girls, none of us lacks for elementary background in kidnapping for sexual purpose. What I find so compelling about this fictionalized story,though, is the wealth of detail concerning the horrors inflicted on the victims, the pathological mind set of the predator and the various legal, media and police perspectives attendant on such a case. With the listing of resources consulted (and phone numbers provided for victim support), it is readily apparent that this author made a considerable and lengthy study of her subject matter. She writes not just to entertain but to instruct as well. Norton's framework of 80 chapters of 2-6 pages each, allows the reader to keep this cast of many characters in clear focus while following the many developing threads of the case. While Reeve LeClaire's solitary goal is simply to approach feeling "normal"after her own horrendous captivity, it is a different Reeve altogether to whom the reader bids goodbye at the end.
Yes, I was uncomfortable reading THE EDGE OF NORMAL...just as we all should be. Perhaps that is the point.
Predators and their prey, villains and victims. By now a major genre in the area of thrillers and mysteries, the recounting of serial crimes and multiple targets—more often than not women—has captured a large audience. The Edge of Normal fits the bill nicely.
Judy B. (Santa Fe, NM)
The main character, twenty-something Reeve LeClaire, had been such a victim as an adolescent and falls into an investigation years later of new crimes against young women that appears to replicate her suffering in the past. LeClaire still bears the scars, both figurative and literal, of her ordeal and it becomes increasingly difficult for her to retain any objectivity about the case.
A psychological thriller, sex and sadism characterize the villain's MO, and he covers his tracks with insidious ingenuity. A word of caution: parts of this page-turner may be too explicit for some readers, so be forewarned. For others, however, The Edge of Normal will provide the requisite chills and thrills, a book hard to put down. And let it be said that Carla Norton writes extremely well. A wide-ranging vocabulary and active verbs sustain her style effectively so there exists little chance of getting bogged down or dozing off.
This book scared me from the very beginning! At first I could not read it for very long; I would have to stop reading until I got the courage to go a little further. Then I could not put it down! The author has a very good understanding of the psychology behind being kidnapped and held captive. It gave me some idea of what the three girls in Ohio went through when they were held captive for so long. It is terrifying! And the terror is felt all the way through this book. It is not for the faint of heart unless you want to learn what it is like and how the the kidnapped girls react and then you understand!!! A fascinating, terror-filled read, but oh so good!!