The Edge of Normal by Carla Norton
I moved away from the past and into the current time with The Edge of Normal by Carla Norton. While I find it hard to peg down any specific genre that is a go-to for me, I think I can safely say that thrillers like The Edge of Normal aren’t my norm. With the knowledge of knowing that thrillers aren’t my strong suit, I do think it’s safe to say that The Edge of Normal was a pretty good book. Ya know, if you want to go to sleep with a kitchen knife on your bedside table because you’re home alone.
That’s right. I finished The Edge of Normal alone in my apartment late on Saturday night and got so freaked out I kept a knife by my bed. To be fair though, that day was one of the first really nice spring ones we’ve had and I decided to open a window. In doing so, there was this freakish draft in my apartment that SOMEHOW opened the door to my roommates bedroom. Needless to say that, in combination with the book, really freaked me out.
The Edge of Normal is about Reeve LeClaire, a girl who had been abducted, held captive and abused sexually, physically and mentally. After her lucky escape, she has spent her time trying to put her life back together, which includes seeing a top therapist in the field who specializes in cases like Reeve’s. When another young girl has been rescued from a situation similar to hers, Reeve is asked to help. Reeve soon learns that she’s not only helping the girl emotionally, but that the true captor is still out there watching everyone’s move and bidding his time.
Norton writes from the point of view of two narrators, the first being Reeve and the second is the unknown captor of the girl Reeve is now helping. This back and forth was highly effective in keeping me thoroughly creeped out. Every chapter coming from the POV of the captor made me so disgusted and horrified (so basically, Norton accomplishes exactly what she was going for). Norton also seems to have done her homework when it comes to making Reeve’s narration seem life-like. This should come as no surprise considering she has also written the non-fiction novel Perfect Victim, a book that made the reading list for the FBI’s Behavioral Sciences Unit.
I have to admit, the book was, at times predictable. Sure there were a few twists and turns along the way, but ultimately I was able to figure out what would play an important role in the book’s ending. But even with the occasional predictability of the book, I was still engrossed. I found myself so on edge that it was difficult to read for extended periods of time and yet I had to keep reading to know what happened.
If you read The Edge of Normal, let me know what you think. Also, feel free to recommend any other thrillers you might have read. I find that I definitely enjoy them even if they aren’t my usual top pick!