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Emma in the Night    by Wendy Walker order for
Emma in the Night
by Wendy Walker
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2017 (2017)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Two sisters go missing - fifteen-year-old Cassandra and seventeen-year-old Emma Tanner. Emma's car is found at the beach, her purse and keys inside. Three years later, Cass shows up - where was she for all that time, and what happened to her sister? Those questions hold readers' interest and build suspense all the way through Wendy Walker's intricate psychological mystery, Emma in the Night.

The tale is told in the alternating voices - and rather different perspectives of Cass Tanner and FBI forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter. Abby had been involved in the original investigation. Based on personal experience, she had concluded that the girls' mother, Judy Martin, is an extreme narcissist, but was unable to convince her peers. She's pulled in to the reopened investigation by her mentor, Special Agent Leo Strauss, and jumps at he chance to find out what really happened and reveal the truth she suspects and fears.

Judy Martin has reveled in the attention her daughters' disappearance has given her - and Cass had watched her enactments of grief in TV appearances. Why has Cass come back? She says she wants Emma found. Cass tells officials that she and her sister were taken by a middle aged couple (Bill and Lucy Pratt) to an island in Maine and kept there against their will. She says that Emma is still on the island, and a boatman, Rick, helped her escape. Why did they go with the Pratts in the first place? Apparently, Emma was pregnant.

Something doesn't feel right to Abby about Cass's story and demeanor. She slowly unveils a true picture of the all-out war that raged in this very dysfunctional family before the sisters' escape from it. And that true picture is a shocker.

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