Monday, August 7, 2017

✱✱ Book Review ✱✱ Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

I'm a huge fan of psychological thrillers and just finished one that was a bit different than what I'm used to but, at the same time, oddly compelling - Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker.

Momma Says: 3 out 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐

Emma in the Night is well-written as far as story flow and plot, but it's written in both first and third person POV, which took some getting used to. It is certainly psychological and even a bit creepy, but I'm not sure I would consider it a thriller. For me, it was more Psychological Suspense. There are many adult situations and themes and the story is disturbing at times, so I would recommend 18+.

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.

***

Emma in the Night wasn't at all what I expected and I wouldn't quite call it a thriller. When I read a thriller, I expect to be on the edge of my seat, dying to know what happens next. I was interested and the story was suspenseful, but the story was a bit slow and even dry at times. That said, it was oddly compelling and certainly disturbing. 
Considering their parents and upbringing, Emma and Cass were almost doomed to be at a little messed up. In a not exactly successfully blended family, the only person that I found to be remotely normal was the oldest brother, Witt. 
The story is not only twisted, but there are plenty of twists and turns as it progresses, which is something I look forward to in a psychological tale. I was left scratching my head at times with Cass' recounting of her time away as it seemed to become more and more convoluted. By the end, her motivations were made clear, but even now, as I ponder the story, I'm not exactly clear about the way she went about it all. 
The biggest drawback for me was the switch in point of view. Throughout the book, we hear from two people, Cass and Dr. Abigail Winter. Cass' chapters are all in first person, while Abby's are in third. My first thought was that it was done to help show Cass' frame of mind during the seven days following her return home, but Abby's chapters also reveal her own thoughts about Cass and the family during that time. The switches from chapter to chapter took some getting used to and in all honesty, I found it to be more of a distraction than anything beneficial to the story. 
Overall, Walker does have a unique writing style and the story had potential, but it just didn't quite live up to expectations. It's not a bad read, but turned out to be merely an okay one for me. 

**Advanced Reader Copy provided by St. Martin's Press and NetGalley

Emma in the Night releases on August 8 and is available for pre-order at the following links.


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Momma😘

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