Review: Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker


Synopsis from Good Reads:

From the bestselling author of All Is Not Forgotten comes a thriller about two missing sisters, a twisted family, and what happens when one girl comes back…

One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn’t add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister’s return might just be the beginning of the crime.

I received a copy of this via NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

Emma in the Night will be available August 8, 2017. 

There is no shortage of books about the return of missing girls, but Emma in the Night sets itself apart by including  and exploring an authentic narcissistic  character. The term Narcissist is used incorrectly a lot to describe people who are just arrogant, but it’s an actual personality disorder that is much more than just arrogance. Though at times the story turned almost a little too clinical describing how Judy, the mother of the missing girls (Emma and Cass), is a narcissist, it was a lot of interesting information.

The story is told through the POVs of Cass, the daughter that has returned and wants to help find her sister, and Abby, a psychologist with the FBI working the case who also grew up with a narcissistic mother. Through both of them we see just how twisted and abusive Cass and Emma’s childhood was and the reason behind that behavior.  I feel like the story is less about finding out exactly what happened, as finding out how exactly the characters reached this point. The conclusion to the crime/mystery was kind of clichéd and a little unsatisfying, but the events leading up to it were interesting.

I appreciated the new angle on the missing girls trope, but was left slightly underwhelmed overall. I think if you go into this for the character development, the family drama, and the mental health information rather than for the mystery, you will enjoy it.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3 Stars

15 thoughts on “Review: Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

  1. I fell in love with the cover of this book and the synopsis just sounded so intriguing. I’ve read a couple of chapters already and find it interesting enough! I’m looking forward to reading more and seeing whether or not I share your opinion on this book. 🙂

  2. Great review! I think this is one I would pick up if I’m in the mood for a thriller. It doesn’t sound super amazing from your review, but it sounds good enough to give a try!

  3. This book has caught my attention. I have an interest in this subject, so it’s definitely going on the tbr.

  4. Really good review! I just finished reading it last night. Not a mystery really like you said. A very in-depth psychological study really. I had what where/what happened to Emma and suspicions about one other major thing figured out pretty early so that took away from it a little when I was proven right. It was still a worthwhile read like you said! 😊

      • You’re welcome! I definitely see what you mean about enjoying it if you had known it was in there. For some reason, I know it was in there, but I think it’s because I had already read quite about of reviews that had mentioned it, and I think that was one of the reasons that I actually requested the book. I really enjoy all that psychological stuff for some reason; maybe because I thought about being a psychiatrist at one point and read way too much about psychological disorders, lol. I still enjoy reading non-fiction books on them, and it makes my husband look at him like I’m trying to psychoanalyze him or something….maybe I am, lol.

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