Hello everyone! I am back with another book review, and I have so many good things to say about this one! As I said in the last blog post, the semester is winding down which means I actually have time to read. This week I finished Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker. So, let’s just get right into it.
I bought this book over the summer because (again) I kept seeing it on TikTok, and I wasn’t able to read it until now. This falls perfectly under the thriller genre. Since I first picked up the book, I had this idea in my head as to what was going to happen. I won’t give away any spoilers, but I was so far off from what actually happened. The book is about two sisters who go missing…everyone thinks they were kidnapped when they actually ran away from home. Their home life situation is terrible, it was not a place of love, family, peace, etc. It was a hostile, violent, cold war-type environment. The mother is a cold, wicked, narcissistic woman. The book opens up to one sister, Cass, coming home after three years. The FBI have been alerted and are now trying to find the other sister, Emma. Cass tells everyone of how her and Emma ran away with this other family to live on a secluded island, and they’ve been there for the last three years. But as the story unfolds, you begin to wonder if that’s really what happened. The FBI detectives are weary of Cass and can’t tell whether or not she’s telling the truth.
The plot of story is one of the strong points because there are constant twists and turns. The entire time I was reading it, I kept saying, “okay, one more chapter.” Thrillers have a tendency to keep the reader hooked because everyone wants to know what happened and who the killer is. This book is told in two different perspectives, one being Cass and the other being a detective/psychiatrist on the case, Dr. Winter. While Cass is being interviewed to learn more about the island and the people she was with, she also recounts stories from her childhood up to the night she disappeared. So, as you continue reading, you find out more about Cass and Emma’s relationship with their mother. The stories get more…interesting as you continue reading because more comes out about who their mom really is and who Emma really is. There is a lot of faking going on from every character.
The relationship between the characters is another strong point of the book because the relationships are very messy and complicated. The mother, Judy Martin, is a very interesting character. The book constantly talks about narcistic personality disorder and how the mother shows multiple symptoms or signs of having it, such as, she always has to be the one in power, no one can be better than her, she does not like competition, she’s manipulative, etc. She always saw Emma as competition which is why their relationship was so rocky. They were always arguing or battling over something. One always had to have the advantage over the other. They were at a slow and painful war. This ultimately ended up destroying the “perfect” family the mother tried so hard to portray. The mother’s relationship with Cass was pretty nonexistent. The mother didn’t see Cass as a threat so there was no reason to feel threaten, therefore, she was kind of like a fly on the wall which eventually made Cass very upset and angry.
The father was ultimately the better option for the girls as far as having a loving and caring parental relationship in their lives. He ended up losing the custody battle when him and Judy divorced. The mother would tear him down, bring up his drug problems, and anything else she could bring up to hurt him. She had to be the better parent. But honestly, the dad was a wimp. Whenever Cass came back all he did was cry, do drugs, and cry. So, he really wasn’t helpful, and Cass even says herself that he’s weak and doesn’t know how to fight. He was more of a background character to bring out those flawed characteristics of the mother, in my opinion.
You’d think that after all this time away from such an awful family dynamic, she wouldn’t want to come back. So why did she? Why come back to the woman who never cared if she was around? There is something darker happening that slowly unfolds along the way. Like I said, I thought I had this book figured out, but I was so far off.
I was really excited to start this book because I just knew that it was going to be a good one, and I was right. I highly recommend this book especially for fans of thrillers. Emma in the Night has so many twists and turns to keep you on your feet. I’ve never read anything by Wendy Walker before, but this has made me want to check out other books by her. From what I can tell, she has other thriller books out on the market! I will definitely be checking some of those out, and if you’ve read anything by Wendy Walker please let me know which ones and what you think of them!