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Emma in the Night: A Novel (original 2018; edition 2018)
by Wendy Walker (Author)
Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker (2018)
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This was a very convoluted thriller. I never could figure out what was happening. Which is great if you love surprise twists! My only complaint is that I kept getting lost and had to reread some pages. ( )
Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker is a 2017 St. Martin’s publication.
Emma and Cassie, teenage sisters, disappeared on the same night- but by all accounts, were not together. Now, Cassie has returned home- alone- begging her family to help find Emma.
Abby, a forensic psychologist, who worked on the case three years ago, is back- more determined than ever to prove that the girls’ mother, Judy, who exhibits all the hallmarks of narcissist personality disorder, was behind their disappearance in one way or another.
This psychological thriller explores the effects of narcissistic personality disorder on family dynamics and how it plays into the mysterious fate of Emma and Cassie.
The book alternates narratives- between Cassie and Abby- with Cassie laying out the bizarre story of having been held captive on island and Emma is still there- but Abby believes there is more to the story than Cassie is telling.
I was not very impressed by this book. I found it repetitive and tedious, as the author constantly explained the symptoms and behaviors of narcissism. I also did not connect with any of the characters, who seemed either stereotypical or exaggerated. The couple who kidnapped Cassie was a bizarre and implausible addition to the plot- and seemed like more of a means to an end.
The book did have some surprising twists and turns, which is appealing to fans of this genre- but for me, that was not enough to redeem the story. I felt that the book was more focused on showcasing narcissism than on telling a compelling story.
I would not recommend this book to anyone looking for a gripping and realistic psychological thriller. It may be suitable for readers who are interested in learning about narcissism or those who simply enjoy the twists or an unreliable narrattor and don’t mind a lot of commentary.
A seriously messed up family. An unreliable narrator. A story that just makes you question everything. I love books like this. I really liked the way the story unraveled the mother and we got to see just exactly what a narcissistic personality is like from beginning to end. I didn’t know what the ending had in store, but I knew it was going to be something turned on it’s head. Fun journey- I recommend!
The way this ultimately weaved together was fascinating, but ultimately not something I was super excited about.
Because the way this book was told was all gearing up for the ending, for the "plot twist," but it didn't really make the rest of the book that interesting to read. I was intrigued, yes, but I picked up a couple of other books while reading this and probably would have forgotten it had I not been reading to review.
This was another book were the details were quite clever and the way that they were strung together to create a picture was done well. I think perhaps I'm over having something at the end be a big reveal and then having all those details explained. I didn't feel like Walker had much respect for the reader in thinking that they could put pieces together.
Walker has strong concepts and I'll look out for her next book, but this one didn't quite do it for me.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
3.5 rounded up to 4
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.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.6Literature English (North America) American fiction 21st Century
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