“The Edge of Normal” by Carla Norton
Pay it forward. A term many of us have come to know and have done, I’m sure, at least once. That’s what Reeve LeClaire is doing in “The Edge of Normal.” Reeve is a past victim trying to overcome her kidnapping and torture as a teenager. Now in her early twenties, she’s still seeing Dr. Lerner on a weekly basis. But he leaves town in order to counsel another young girl, whose situation is eerily similar to Reeve’s nightmare from ten years prior.
Reeve gets a call from Dr. Lerner while he’s away. The family of the newest victim wants her to come and speak to their daughter Tilly. Since Reeve has been through the acclimation back into society after a brutal assault, they think her strength may help Tilly. Albeit hesitantly, Reeve agrees to try and assist the young girl.
Helping Tilly is more than an emotional trial for Reeve. She has to relive what the monster did to her in order for Tilly to come to terms with what’s happened. But then Tilly reveals to Reeve things about two other young missing girls, Hannah and Abby. Reeve is bound to keep Tilly’s secret, but knows she needs to do something. She goes out on her own and tries to find evidence that the police haven’t located. She makes headway, but now it’s her life that hangs, once again, in the hands of another.
An absolute thrill from page one to the end. I must admit that just before the end, I thought, “Oh, no. Norton is going to disappoint me. She can’t do this.” For just a second, I wanted to put the book down. Boy, am I glad I didn’t! Wow! Norton blew me away! You will not believe the ending; just when I thought it was over and I don’t get…never mind. I can’t say anymore without giving it away. Suffice to say, you have to read this book!
Reviewed by Starr Gardinier Reina, author of “The Other Side: Melinda’s Story”