Emma in the Night, Wendy Walker: Book Review

Two sisters disappear one nigh but only one returns home.

Emma In The Night Book Cover Emma In The Night
Wendy Walker
Mystery
St. Martin's Press
2017
Hardcover
305

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.

This review contains quotes from the novel.

*Special thanks to BookSparks for allowing us to read Wendy Walker’s Emma in the Night.

Wendy Walker has written a magnificent suspenseful novel that will take you on an adventure you will not want to miss out on with her most recent work, Emma in the Night.

“The truth can evade us, hiding behind out blind spots, our preconceptions, our hungry hearts that long for quiet. Still, it is always there if we open our eyes and try to see it. If we really try to see.”

-excerpt from Wendy Walker’s Emma In The Night 

On a random night, two sisters disappear: Cass and Emma. Though they disappeared together, three years later, Cass is the only one to arrive back home alone. She shows back up with only the clothes she wore since her abduction and with little to no evidence of where she has been for the past few years. Cass talks about her kidnapping and how she and her sister, Emma, were held captive on a secret island.

But something’s off. Not all of Cass’ story makes sense to her forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Abby Walker. And Dr. Walker’s goal is to uncover what truly happened to Cass, which will hopefully lead to Emma’s whereabouts.

The days following their disappearance, Emma’s car is found on a beach with her purse and keys still inside, and her shoes washed up on the beach. Everyone already assumed that Emma was probably dead, but the discovery of these objects still do not explain why or how Cass disappeared that night with her sister, because none of the objects that were found even belonged to her.

Family drama becomes another prominent aspect of this novel. Cass and Emma’s mother loves having all the attention on her, so when her girls go missing, she finds she’s able to get as much attention as she wants in their absence. The issue is a two-way street, however, since both sisters wanted their mother’s attention too, but their mother makes it a point to keep the focus on herself. With this, you could tell their relationship was strained and the tension between the three of them was evident in this way. In a somewhat sadistic way, it also seemed as though the mother almost enjoyed the fact that her daughters were missing, just for the sole purpose of having the spotlight on her.

Walker’s Emma in the Night seriously messed with my mind. Still, the mystery behind the sisters’ disappearance was really the most interesting part of the novel. She does an excellent job developing Emma and the intrigue behind her being kidnapped. I also loved Dr. Abby Walker’s character for her way of pushing the boundaries to figure out what happened to these girls. I found Dr. Walker to be a fierce character, and I enjoyed reading from her perspective.

Overall, I would recommend Emma in the Night to anyone looking for a mystery that will keep them up way past their bedtime.

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Jessica Duffield
the authorJessica Duffield
Contributing Writer
I am a junior in college. Books are my passion and I hope to work in book publishing once I graduate from journalism school.