Emma in the Night
Wendy Walker excels at psychological thrillers where she really delves deep into the wounds of her characters’ psyche. All is Not Forgotten was about ways to cope and treat extremely painful memories of hurt. This time, she focuses on Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
The Tanners have had a rough life. Growing up, Cassandra and Emma didn’t get the love and tenderness they needed, mostly due to Judy, their mother, her lifestyle and her pathological narcissism. Judy divorced and her new husband and his son added extra difficulties.
Then one night, the two girls disappeared in mysterious circumstances. They were 15 and 17. Emma is actually thought dead.
Three years later, everyone is stunned when Cassandra comes home. Her mission is now to help find her sister.
The book spans the seven days after Cassandra’s return.
The chapters alternate between Cassandra’s narrative in the first voice, of where they were and what happened to them; and Abigail’s point of view in the third voice.
Dr Abigail is a forensic psychologist working for the FBI. The Tanners’s story has been very painful for her, as she didn’t manage to solve the case at the time of the disappearance of the girls. She had a theory, but no one believed her. Plus, this dysfunctional family rings too close to hers, as her own mother was also narcissistic, and she even wrote her dissertation on Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Now the time has come for her to come up with a plan to try again to put light on the ordeal, and test as well some psychological theories related to parents suffering from this condition, and the impact on their children.
Dysfunctional families are usually not my cup of tea in novels, but this is very well done here, presented from the clinical aspect, with lots of elements of analysis, including discussions on coping techniques.
And as in many such conditions, lies and manipulation abound, making it even more difficult to discern what’s really going on.
It fits perfectly with the mystery, one aspect of which only have I been able to guess ahead. There’s a lot of suspense (life on a mysterious island with strangers certainly added to it) and the more you discover the characters, the more you think so many could be involved.
This is the perfect thriller for your summer if you want to read a fast story full of suspense, but at the same time built on seriously researched psychological and clinical data. I’m definitely looking forward to more thrillers by Wendy Walker.
VERDICT: A perfect mix of suspense and solid psychological and clinical data result in this fast pace thriller that will be the delight of your summer reading.
Author: Wendy Walker
Publication: August 8, 2017
by St Martin’s Press
Genre: mystery /psychological thriller
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In full compliance with FTC Guidelines,
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I was in no way compensated for this post as a reviewer, and the thoughts are my own.
This one sounds excellent. I love all the mystery and suspense. Great review!
Yes Kristyn, I think you would enjoy it
The dysfunctional family aspect wouldn’t excite me either – too familiar a device – but the psychological analysis gives this book an interesting twist.
yes, definitely worth your try
I did read this book and I really liked it. The funny thing was that while reading it, I would get frustrated at parts because I could tell something was off but we weren’t really getting new information, and it seemed like nothing was happening. But I ended up loving where the story ended up.
yes, the wrap up was good
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