I so enjoyed Wendy Walker’s ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN. I was elated to read another book by this author. EMMA IN THE NIGHT is a story about two sisters. This story is also about narcissism and how it can affect a family.
Cass, 15, and her sister, 17, have been missing for three years. At age 18, Cass comes home and tells how she and her sister, Emma, were kidnapped and held on an island the whole time. For Cass the clock is ticking and she needs to convince everyone to find that island and capture the couple that held them and rescue Emma. For Dr. Abby Winters, Cass’ story doesn’t add up. Abby’s hunch along with the fact that Cass and Emma’s mother is a textbook narcissist convinces her that there is more to the story then Cass is telling.
I really enjoyed this psychological suspense. The story alternates between Abby and Cass’ POV and is told in alternate timelines. Cass does a lot of remembering her sister and the events that took place at the hands of her mother before she left, while she was gone, and now after she has come home. Cass chooses to live with her mother, who she un-affectionately calls Mrs.Martin, instead of her father which threw up big red flags for me right away. There she also faces a Mr.Martin and a shady step-brother.
Cass is really complicated character. I was riveted reading about Cass’ experiences in the hands of her kidnappers. That story alone would have been enough, but life is really tough for her at home as well. Cass uses counting as a mechanism to cope. Abby explains in detail how this counting probably saved her. Cass’ recounting her kidnappers really adds urgency for the reader as Emma is still there and in grave danger.
Abby plays a major role in this story, as her background is in personality disorders and more specifically narcissistic mothers. Her insight into the home of Mrs.Martin and her daughters is on point and her observations added to my enjoyment of this book. With Cass being gone so long and going through so much, bringing a forensic psychiatrist along with the FBI will only help with the investigation. It takes all these brilliant minds to see past the lies and get down to the truth which has long been buried.
There is much more to this story, but I don’t want to give away all the juicy details. This story is suspenseful and intelligent, but it wasn’t quite as good as ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN. I deducted a star only because I caught something early on, but only because this author’s other novel is still so fresh in my mind. I would still highly recommend this book. Once again this author sheds light on an important mental disorder that often goes undiagnosed. This is a story you need to read for yourself to appreciate.
Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker
Published by St. Martin's Press on August 8th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Suspense, Psychological
Also by this author: All Is Not Forgotten
eARC provided by St. Martin's Press
"Both twisted and twisty, this smart psychological thriller sets a new standard for unreliable narrators." –Booklist, Starred Review
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.