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Emma in the Night Bets On...

Emma in the Night

August 2017

In EMMA IN THE NIGHT by Wendy Walker, the two Tanner sisters, who were 15 and 17, disappeared three years ago leaving almost no clues behind. Now the younger one, Cass, has returned. But where is Emma, her older sister? Cass, who shares a story of her escape from captors, has many of the clues. Or does she?

Here we have the kind of protagonist we all have come to embrace --- the unreliable one. (What does it say about readers today that we gravitate towards these unreliable storytellers?) The story zigs and zags, and along the way we get to know and loathe the girls’ mother, who we come to realize has a narcissistic personality. (There is one section about her that is particularly brutal; you will know what I mean when you read it.) On the case to unwind the story is a forensic psychologist, Dr. Abby Winter, who knows from personal experience about how a self-absorbed parent may wend her clout.

When I read an early copy of the book, I was up late reading. After four hours of sleep, I got up and finished it! Factoid on how Wendy nails the narcissistic personality so well: She was a practicing attorney, and when she was in law school they studied various personality types to better understand them, especially how they would present themselves in family court.

Emma in the Night
by Wendy Walker