Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
When you read a thriller in one sitting, without any breaks, because you're so enraptured and addicted to the plot twists and events, you know that it’s a keeper. As an avid psychological thriller reader, who has read countless other books with similar ideas/premises, this one definitely specifically had that shocking ending came out of left field.
The two Tanner sisters, mysteriously disappear one foggy night about three years ago. Emma was 17 and Cass 15, just young teenagers. After three long years Cass unexpectedly appears at her mothers doorstep alone... Then the story goes from there. What happened to the Tanner girls? Where is Emma and why did they leave?
One thing that I was fascinated by what is the exploration of narcissistic personality disorder that was labeled to their mother from a professional psychologist who had first-hand experience with their own mother. It was apparent that the author had really studied and researched these behavior patterns in family life.
However it's still rubs me the wrong way when mental illness is demonized because the stereotype of the “evil abusive mother” is rarely well done and more often than not damaging. I am hesitant to label this an accurate or good rep in this book and also I can't comment on the rep of the specific personality disorders so I'm kind of torn on how to view this.
It still rubs me the wrong way when mental on this is our demonize because this is the evil abusive mother and while I've always been fascinated by behavioral psychology I am hesitant to label this an accurate or good rap in this book and also I can't comment on the specific personality disorders so I'm kind of
A highlight of this book was that one of the two POV's. Dr. Abby Winters who is investigating, as well as the examining psychologist of the case. It's always the most interesting perspective when it's an objective outsider of the family who isn't directly involved in the messy past. From her perspective I feel like we gained and we learned so much about truly the dynamics and the psychological part.
One thing that made really put me off was the fact that for 99% of the writing there was just telling and not showing. There were no flashbacks, no third perspective objectively told, nothing that could be considered as showing. It was just all composed of stories that Cass told to the police detectives and family members. I know that the author did this in a deliberate way for the plot furthering purpose but the most basic rule of writing and crafting an excellent book is show not tell and this had minimal to no showing. Which is why I felt like I had a sour lemon in my mouth after I finished this book, unfortunately.
**Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me a copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own**
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