ARC REVIEW: Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

Emma in the NightTitle: Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker
Pages: 319
Published by: HQ
Publication date: 8th August 2017
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Format: eBook
Amazon UKWaterstones


Two sisters go missing.
Only one returns.

We believe what we want to believe. We believe what we need to believe.

When my sister and I disappeared three years ago, they found Emma’s car at the beach. Some people believed she had gone there to find a party or meet a friend who never showed. They believed that she’d gone for a swim. They believed that she’d drowned. Maybe by accident. Maybe a suicide.

Everyone believed Emma was dead.

As for me, well – it was not as simple as that.

My review:

Thank you to NetGalley for a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest view.

I really wanted to like this book. It seemed very interesting and the synopsis made it sound like the perfect crime thriller. Unfortunately, I really struggled to get through this book. I hate giving negative reviews but there was very little that I liked about this story. I was expecting it to be full of so many crazy twists but it ended up falling really flat. I felt like nothing happened through the whole book and I had to force myself to read half of it. I’m surprised I managed to finish it. I think what drove me to finish it was the mystery surrounding Emma. Why had Cass returned but not Emma? Was she in danger or did she just not want to come back? There was a lot of unanswered questions about Emma and I wanted answers.

The story starts with Cass’s return after she disappeared three years ago. They were unable to solve the case at the time but now that Cass has returned, the case has been re-opened. The book is split between Cass’s point of view and Anna’s who is a Forensic Psychologist. Cass recounts everything that happened to her during those three years she was missing and she wants them to help find Emma. We also learn more about their dysfunctional family and how they ended up missing for three years. This wasn’t as interesting as I’d first thought it would be.

I’m going to talk about the characters now and be warned, I did not like a single character in this book. Not even one. Cass and Anna were two of the most uninteresting characters. They made this book feel more like a chore to read than a pleasure. I couldn’t connect with either of them and I didn’t like them at all. Cass was really boring and she was completely flat. It felt like she had no emotions and she didn’t care about anything that had happened. Anna comes across as pretty desperate at times and she has a strange obsession with this family. She is desperate to solve the case and find out what really happened to Cass and Emma. Normally I love reading about the detectives who are on the case because they get really fleshed out and we learn a lot about them. But Anna seemed to go on and on about the same thing all the time and it started to annoy me. She’s like a dog with a bone. If you mention Cass’s mother then Anna will go on and on about her theory of Emma and Cass’s mother being a narcissist. I found myself not caring about narcissism or Cass’s mother one bit. I think having a narcissist in this story could have been interesting had it been written better. It is an interesting concept to write about but it just ended up boring me. I did find Cass’s family to be disgusting and dysfunctional, and honestly I’m shocked she didn’t turn out as bad as they were. Emma, on the other hand, was a very selfish and twisted character, nothing at all like her sister. She was a lot like her mother which made me instantly hate her.

This book was one star for me all the way through until I got to the end and bumped it up two stars. I was left reeling from the ending because I never would have guessed that scenario. The ending was definitely the most exciting part of the book because it was the big reveal such a shame it came too late though. The rest of the book dragged for me and I really didn’t enjoy it.

Overall this book was not for me but others might enjoy it if they are interested in narcissism and seeing it being the central plot of a story. For me though, it’s not the best crime thriller and there’s nothing really exciting about it apart from the ending.

5 thoughts on “ARC REVIEW: Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

  1. Kathy @ Books & Munches says:

    I completely get your point!
    Read this book and it really got to me, but that’s because I have a history that’s mixed up with some narcissism. It really does change things since I really liked it – even recommended it to certain people to read as well.

    Interesting to see how my opinion differs so much from yours, haha!

    • Beth says:

      I feel really bad now after reading your review! You’ve really made me understand more about this book and I’m so gutted I didn’t think about that when I was reading it. I agree with what you said about Cass being detached I think if she was more emotional or more alive I would have liked it a bit more 😔

      • Kathy @ Books & Munches says:

        Oh boo! No need to feel bad about that! Books will always be something personal, and it’s probably because I came into contact with narcissism myself that I understood it better.

        Yup, Cass could’ve really upped the book a whole lot if she wouldn’t have been so detached!

        And thank you for coming to check out my review as well! 😀

  2. A Pretty Lil Book Blog says:

    Just to let you know, I’ve nominated you for a Liebster Award. You’re mentioned in the latest post on my blog ☺

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