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By: Wendy Walker
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: 8/8/2017
My Rating: 5 Stars +
Talented Wendy Walker returns following her standout debut, All is Not Forgotten—landing on my Top Books of 2016, with another gripping and twisty, addictive psychological suspense thriller EMMA IN THE NIGHT revolving around narcissistic personality disorder and abuse.
Top Books of 2017! 5 Stars +
Two girls go missing. Three years later, only one comes home. What happened to Emma?
One of the most difficult things to understand in life is how someone who professes to love you can then go on to abuse you. Combine narcissistic behavior with obsession, insecurity, control, jealousy, love, hate, and revenge, and you have a nasty evil person.
Emotional coercion, blame, guilt, manipulation, negative comparison, jealousy, and possessiveness. (great character traits for a parent, right)?
Judy Martin (well I do like the name), but she is one evil horrible person. Her daughters call her Mrs. Martin. Readers will despise her. She lives to be the center of attention.
Walker does an outstanding job with her characters. (I cannot imagine how difficult this book was to write). Judy inflicts pain (her ways and motives) onto everyone around her. A devil of a mother. She manipulates everyone around her. Everything is a game. Even Emma gets caught up in the game.
Everything is a competition. Not sure how either of these girls had time to live a normal life. Game on every day. Like an endless tennis match.
Two daughters. Emma and Cass Tanner.
Their mother remarried a guy she was having an affair with. Mr. Martin. Their biological dad is Owen.
The two girls have been missing for three years.
Cass was 15 and her older sister Emma was 17. No one knew whether they were dead or alive?
Now Cass shows up on her mother’s doorstep. She claims her sister is on an island and she escaped and needs help in rescuing her and her baby girl. Who knew she was pregnant?
Of course, at the time of the original investigation, there was the FBI psychologist, Abigail Winter (Abby) who was engrossed in the case. She herself lived with a narcissistic mother and was a pro on the subject.
Now Cass returns without Emma.
Is she telling the truth? Can she provide enough clues to lead them to her sister Emma? Are they really on an island? Apparently, her sister had a horrible argument with Judy the night she left and went to the beach. Cass hid in her car.
A man and woman who befriended them, turned against them and held them hostage. For three years they attempted to escape.
What is this family hiding? Everyone seems to be hiding a dark secret. From Mr. Martin (step-dad), his son—Hunter, Owen—the dad, Judy, Emma, and Cass.
Wow, this is one dysfunctional family! Nerve-wracking suspense. Walker knows how to build suspense with unreliable narrators. You know something is coming. Something is lurking around the corner. Which one will outsmart the other in this cat and mouse game?
You know there is a scheme, a plan; however, you are not sure where this story will lead. What is Judy hiding? Mr. Martin? Cass? Hunter?
The author keeps you guessing from the first page to the last. From slow burning manipulation, Walker hits on all cylinders.
I had a lot going on in my life during the reading of this book; however, I found myself rushing to get back to this saga. This subject is one I did quite a bit of research on years ago and have read many books on the subject. My ex-husband (I emphasize "EX" for 20 yrs. now), was a true narcissistic personality. He could give Judy a few lessons. Will give you chills.
Reading this book brought back all these dangerous, manipulative, and scary personality traits and their sense of entitlement, which he handed down to his own sons. (Thank goodness I did not have any children with him; however, mine saw the damage) and we were able to get away from this life after five years.
Narcissistic abuse was originally just defined as a specific form of emotional abuse of children by narcissistic parents, parental narcissistic abuse, where parents who require the child to give up their own wants and feelings in order to serve the parent's needs for esteem.
It is real. You can be assured a narcissist can have “intellectual empathy” and no emotional empathy. Not in their vocabulary. If faced with a narcissist, you will ask yourself, “How much abuse am I prepared to take?” RUN! However, if you are a child, this is somewhat difficult to do.
How could an island be any worse than living with Mr. and Mrs. Martin? There has to be a good reason to return. Yes, it was.
Walker works her way back to that night slowly as all the pieces unravel for dynamite ending. Outstanding twists, intense characterizations, and interesting subject matter make EMMA IN THE NIGHT a top psychological thriller.
I also purchased the audiobook and Therese Plummer and Julia Whelan provided an edge- of-your-seat award-winning performance!
What an intense mind-bending page-turner! Move this one to the top of your list. A devilish cat and mouse game. Who will win in the end? Read and find out. . .
Read more on the author’s website Behind the Book. Good Stuff!
A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an early reading copy.