Readers' Favorite

August 8, 2017

Fantastic Psychological Thriller: Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

Review by MK French

Three years ago, Emma and Cass disappeared without a trace. Cass returned to her mother's home after three years without Emma, and an investigation is launched to look for her. It reopens the three-years-old investigation into the disappearance, as well as family secrets that others desperately wanted hidden.
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Emma in the Night
August 2017; St. Martin's Press; 978-1250141439
ebook, audio, print (320 pages); thriller
This is a fantastic psychological thriller, with shifting and unreliable narrators.

Little details make and break the story, and draw in forensic psychologist Abby Winter. The shifts are clearly marked with each chapter (and at the end, within the chapter) which normally I find annoying. In this case, it's absolutely critical and didn't always help me keep track of whose POV we were in. I think some sections blended a bit, and the current events are interwoven with memories of the past, which also made it more difficult.

Writing unreliable narrators can be tricky because it's a fine line between a sympathetic but confused narrator and one that out and out lies to the reader.

We know from the start that Cass's agenda is to find Emma; for all of their conflicts and the dysfunction in their family, Cass loves Emma and is drawn to her.

Their mother is also a piece of work, and I think pity for what Cass and Emma had to endure while growing up also helped make her more sympathetic.  Even better, there is hope for some of the characters at the end of the book, as well as an explanation for the twist that I didn't see coming.

Buy Emma in the Night at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.

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  1. I'm currently reading this one and loving it so far. Stories like this with unreliable narrators and shifting perspectives always get me. :)