Saturday, 19 October 2013

The Edge of Normal by Carla Norton


Her name had been out of the headlines so long that he was sure no one was searching for her when he fit the key into the lock for the last time.

Once again a beginning with pronouns as if the reader is supposed to know what's going on before even opening the book. The writer knows what the story is, but she's refusing to tell it to the reader. The pronouns make it vague and mysterious and confusing which is supposed to create atmosphere except it doesn't. But fortunately by paragraph two the author is showing signs of life:

First came the blindfold. Next, the handcuffs.

What follows is another maniac kidnapping a girl storyline. I don't know what it is, perhaps the fact that this story line has been done to death, but this does not hook like it did in the 1970's. We can only hope that at the end of the prologue said maniac is dead. That's what I infer. A happy ending. Oh, wait...there's more.

Chapter one

Tuesdays are always a test, and getting to his office is the hard part, but twenty-two-year-old Reeve LeClaire has never told her psychiatrist about her route.

What follows is a poetic GPS retelling of San Francisco Bay. Also on page one, there is a hair reference. After reading The Face on the Milk Cartoon I now can't help thinking it's awkward to find hair on the first page of a novel. Honorable mentions, allusions or allegories concerning hair make me think of that book. It's serious. But that's me; I won't let it influence the verdict of this opening. In all fairness, I guess it's kind of important to mention her do, as it's maroon color. But I already figured out that Reeve has issues, as she after all has a shrink.

First thing said:

"Turn around and open your mouth."

Verdict: Pass (barely)

Theodore Moracht

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