Tuesday, November 28, 2017

book review: Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

The backstory: Last summer, I read and enjoyed Wendy Walker's first psychological thriller All Is Not Forgotten (my review). (Walker has also published several novels that aren't thrillers.)

The basics: One night, two sisters, ages 15 and 17, go missing. Three years later, one of them comes back, and she's desperate to find her sister, whom she left behind in order to escape.

My thoughts: When I read All Is Not Forgotten, I was enraptured. In my review, I wrote "ll Is Not Forgotten is an utterly gripping thriller. I read it compulsively. As I reached its conclusion, however, I realized the thrills were likely gone. In this sense, the novel is authentic and realistic--it's characters feel like real people. While I appreciate the novel's conclusion in this sense, for such a twisty ride, I was mildly disappointed there wasn't one more twist." In many ways, Emma in the Night has the opposite problem. The premise is such an intriguing one, but I found it relatively slow to start and get going. The early chapters are long, particularly by psychological thriller standards, and because the novel shifts narrators, some things are repeated, albeit with subtle differences, so different narrators cover the same events and times. Early on, I found myself most enjoying the narration of the psychiatrist. I'm drawn to police procedurals, and something about Cass's narration didn't grip me immediately.

About half-way through, however, this novel became unputdownable. There were many delightful and surprising twists, and it more than made up for the slow start, which was needed to establish the foundation for the novel's long, satisfying climax.

Favorite passage:  "There is something about understanding that comforts me, even if I don’t like what I understand."

The verdict: Emma in the Night may start a bit slow, but the pay-off more than makes up for the time investing in the set-up. I read compulsively and loved every single twist.

Rating: 5 out of 5
Length: 298 pages
Publication date: August 8, 2017
Source: library

Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy Emma in the Night from Amazon (Kindle edition.)

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