A victim turns vigilante in a cat-and-mouse tale of a child predator and his former prey.
Once known as Regina, Reeve LeClaire changed her name and her life when she was rescued from a man who abducted her and robbed her of her childhood years before. Though the press baptized her “Edgy Reggie” because of her cantankerous attitude, Reeve’s been keeping a low profile lately, opting out of most worldly interactions. When her longtime therapist and child abduction specialist Dr. Ezra Lerner approaches her about helping recently rescued abductee Tilly Cavanaugh readjust to her family and return to something like normal life, Reeve agrees reluctantly, making the trek from San Francisco to Jefferson City to be with the Cavanaughs. Tilly bonds with Reeve, treating her like a sister in sorrow and disclosing details about her captor that she’s been afraid to tell the police. Though she’s spent most of her life avoiding involvement with others, Reeve’s vigilante instincts are piqued, and she finds herself intent on identifying the man who attacked and imprisoned the young Tilly. Norton alternates between Reeve’s search for the child predator and the point of view of the guilty party, who’s planned for the inevitable investigation miles ahead of any police progress. Reeve must understand the logic of a sick mind in order to stop a coverup in its tracks.
Norton (Perfect Victim, 1988) skillfully develops her tricky subject, gradually shifting from an emphasis on its tabloid aspects to a close identification with the victim/heroine in a story of justice served by the one who deserves it most.