Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker
To be published: August 8, 2017
St. Martin’s Press
This is the second book by Wendy Walker that I have read. I read ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN last year and loved it. I was really excited when I heard about EMMA IN THE NIGHT, but a part of me was worried that I wouldn’t like it.
“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”
The Tanner sisters disappeared on a foggy night three years ago. Emma was seventeen-years-old and Cass was fifteen. Now three years later, Cass is back. Turning up on her mother’s doorstep….alone.
When they disappeared, Emma’s car was found at the beach, with her purse and keys inside. Her shoes were in the water. Assumptions were made. Almost everyone believed Emma was dead. But they couldn’t figure out what happened to Cass. Emma would never have taken Cass with her to the beach. Plus none of Cass’s things were missing. So where was she? Different people believed different things. Could it be a coincidence? One sister dead, the other a runaway? An abduction?
“Some people needed to believe I was dead because it was too hard to wonder”
The girl’s mother tells the story of the night in question, which gives her the attention she thrives on. An apparent fight between Cass and Emma over a necklace then a car seen leaving later that night…
Social media, the girl’s cells phones, and diaries didn’t help at all. Everyone was at a loss.
What happened to the Tanner sisters?
We learn more about what life was like in the Tanner/Martin home. Dysfunctional would be one way of putting it. Daughters who craved attention from a mother who also craved attention, and for whom playing favorites was a game she perfected.
“Am I a good mother? The best mother you could ever want?”
For three years, Cass had imagined the moment see would see her mother again. But she was not at all prepared for the expression on her mother’s face when she saw Cass on her front porch.
They take Cass inside, asking question after question, but Cass won’t answer. Until finally…..
“We need the police!” “They have to find Emma! They have to find her!”
Dr. Abigail Winter (Abby) forensic psychologist is called in to consult along with the FBI. Abby knows this case inside out, it has eaten at her all these years. One those cases that buries itself deep under your skin. Abby could see things that others couldn’t…or wouldn’t. So when she hears the words “Cassandra Tanner came home“, she’s on her feet, ready to go in seconds.
Will she finally find out what happened the night the girls disappeared? Where has Cass been? Where is Emma? Is it possible that the theory Abby had about the case was correct? The theory that no one else believed?
When Abby hears those words from Cassandra Tanner’s mouth, time stands still. Emma is alive?
“The island.” Cass said. “She’s still on the island”
And with that, Cass begins telling them what happened. As she begins her story, everyone keeps asking her why they left in the first place. When she finally replies, her answer shocks them all.
As I mentioned before I was worried I wouldn’t like this book as much as I liked the authors first novel. I shouldn’t have worried as I REALLY enjoyed it.
EMMA IN THE NIGHT is not just a story about two missing girls. It’s a story about love, obsession, loyalty, mental illness, secrets, jealousy, and even revenge.
The story is told from Cass and Abby’s point of view. I think the book is well paced, and I couldn’t wait to read what was going to happen next. This is one of those books that I wanted to talk about to everyone. I’ve always been interested in behavioral psychology and one of the main themes of the book is one I’m most interested in. I found it fascinating. Wendy Walker really knows her stuff. Intelligent and disturbing, I was completely engrossed in the psychological aspects of this story as well as the mystery itself.
EMMA IN THE NIGHT is definitely a book I won’t soon forget. I’m two for two with Wendy Walker and I cannot wait for more!
Thank you, St. Martin’s Press for providing an advanced readers copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.