Review: Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker 

Release date: August 8, 2017

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


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 is told using dual narratives, it alternates between Cass who disappeared three years ago and shows up suddenly at home and also from Abby, the psychiatrist that has been working the case since Cass and her sister Emma vanished. I especially enjoyed the chapters from Abby’s point of view as a psychological insight fascinates me and there is much to explore in Cass and her complicated family. It chronicles the days immediately following Cass return as Abby and the FBI try to uncover where exactly Cass has been and where Emma is now. There are SO many questions and layers to this insane mystery, it’s a constant guessing game and then second guessing that had me on the edge of my seat.

While I liked the pacing and it definitely held my attention, the process of learning the details of Cass three year disappearance was sometimes painstakingly slow. Oddly enough, I was still totally captivated by this dark tale of a twisted family and their bizarre dynamics. It really was an intoxicating read for me, but if you don’t like your psychological thrillers with a heavy dose of psychology, this could be a frustrating read. 

This is full of unlikable characters and unreliability, but each character was extremely well drawn. The writing was strong and smart and the plot was very well thought out and executed. While there were some twists early on, towards the end there were an onslaught of turns that left me reeling, I especially liked the ending. If you like thrillers with an insight into the human psyche, check this one out. 

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy. 

11 thoughts on “Review: Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker 

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