Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Emma in the Night - Review

Idgie Says:
A twisty... and twisted tale... where you are not sure who's telling the truth, and nothing is as it seems. Every person in this novel has their own agenda and secrets.  

When Cass arrives home after disappearing with her sister 3 years ago, everyone desperately tries to unravel the story Cass tells and find out why Emma didn't come home with her. 

You need to follow the clues closely and see how the family that looked so perfect on the outside was really a simmering brew of mistrust, hate and resentment.

From Wendy Walker, the author of All Is Not Forgotten, comes EMMA IN THE NIGHT (St. Martin’s Press, August 8, 2017, $26.99) a thriller about two missing sisters, a troubled family, and what happens when one girl returns.

Five years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass comes back, without her sister. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn’t add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries are violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister’s return might just be the beginning of the crime.

EMMA IN THE NIGHT is thought-provoking crime fiction at its best. 


Things You Didn’t Know About Narcissists

Forget about those girls who look in the mirror too much or that guy who doesn’t call you for a second date. Some people are just arrogant and self-centered. An actual narcissist is a person who suffers from narcissistic personality disorder. And, contrary to their confident exteriors, narcissists actually have fractured, fragile egos. What we see on the outside is the façade, or alter-ego, which they have created to protect themselves from the pain of feeling inadequate and vulnerable.

1.               While a narcissist comes across as egotistical and confident, he or she is actually profoundly insecure.
2.               The narcissist is so deeply insecure that he or she creates an alter ego of arrogance and perfection as a protective shield.
3.               The narcissist is completely dependent on the admiration of others to support the façade of arrogance and perfection.
4.               The insecurity within the narcissist is formed during infancy and throughout childhood.
5.               Many professionals believe narcissism is a result of childhood neglect, trauma or “disorganized” attachment with the primary caregiver (inconsistent love and attention).
6.               The narcissist intuitively learns to attract and cultivate followers who will worship him or her and support the alter ego unconditionally.
7.               Cult experts generally view cult leaders as pathological narcissists.
8.               Both male and female narcissists can be sexually provocative and promiscuous.
9.               Both male and female narcissists can be domineering and controlling. In fact, the behavior of male and female narcissists can be interchangeable.
10.            The narcissist may exert control and dominion over other people using techniques similar to mind control to achieve complete submission of their subjects in all aspects of their lives.
11.            Narcissism is a diagnosable condition which falls on a spectrum of mental illnesses called “Axis II Disorders.” These conditions are incurable, although behavior can be modified using “carrots” and “sticks.”
12.            Excessive use of social media are not necessarily indicators of a true narcissist.
13.            Narcissists can range in severity, with some being capable of small degrees of empathy and other having no ability to empathize whatsoever.
14.            Narcissists who become primary caregivers to a child can damage that child and create a new narcissist. The illness can thus become a cycle within families.
15.            Narcissism cannot be properly diagnosed from afar, but requires substantial knowledge of a person’s childhood and relationships.

Ten Ways to Spot a True Narcissist

1.               He makes you feel crazy. Because the narcissist can never be wrong or less than perfect, he will twist and contort every argument and disagreement to make you wrong. You, or someone else, is always the “bad guy.” The narcissist has a fragile ego beneath the façade of arrogance and it cannot tolerate any negative feedback.
2.               He is quick to anger when things don’t go his way. The narcissist’s fragile ego is extremely vulnerable to emotional pain so he will protect it by channeling all emotions into rage. This anger can also work to intimidate other people and get them “back in line.”
3.               He lacks real empathy. The true narcissist only sees people as tools to reinforce the façade and protect the fragile ego behind it. Other people’s feelings and opinions are unimportant the moment they no longer serve his sole purpose for engaging in the relationship to begin with.
4.               He will turn on people who do not unconditionally submit to his dominance and control. If his efforts to achieve this fail, he will cut them out and find a way to cast them as flawed and unworthy.
5.               He takes every disagreement or alternative opinion as a personal assault. You are either with him or against him.
6.               He cannot stop putting other people down. Friend or foe, the narcissist will bully and degrade everyone in his path, even if done with humorous banter, because his façade is always hungry for validation. If he can find fault with someone else, then he is necessarily better than that person, and this is exactly what the façade needs to survive.
7.               No amount of love, affection or praise will ever be enough. Because the façade is just that – a cover for the fragile ego – it is in need of constant fortification. The narcissist requires ongoing validation of the façade to ignore the fragile ego, which is the hidden truth he is burdened to live with.
8.               He exploits others and feels entitled to do so. He is the most worthy person in the world and feels entitled to take whatever he can from the people around him. He will not reciprocate kindness or even see that something is owed by him to return a favor.
9.               The people in his life are only an extension of himself, especially his children. He will push them to do things that he believes are favorably viewed and admired by others. He is incapable of seeing their worth as individuals.
10.            He will make you feel crazy (part 2). If you are a part of his life, he will sing your praises and make you feel adored and admired. But then he will demean and degrade you so that there is no doubt that he is superior and dominant. This can be extremely confusing, and can also make it very hard to leave the relationship be it romantic, parental or professional.

Five Ways to Tell if You Are a Narcissist

1.               Your world is lived in black and white. You're are right and others are wrong. People are with you or against you. You find an answer for everything that satisfies your emotional needs and you do not deviate from your analysis once you find one that makes you feel good.
2.               It makes you feel better about yourself to say negative things about others. Even in the context of friendships, you will never give up the chance to point out the flaws and mistakes of others.
3.               The only people you allow into your inner circle worship and admire you unconditionally. You feel superior and dominant over them, even if it’s in just one area of life. When you think about yourself compared to them, you feel, overall, superior and in control of their feelings for you.
4.               You manipulate other people to get the things you want or need. You feel entitled to these things and you will do whatever it takes to get them. You feel justified in using whatever means necessary to obtain the things to which you feel this entitlement.
5.               You are never content. Because there is a fragile ego hiding beneath your façade of arrogance and perfection, you feel constantly threatened and on guard. Your efforts to control and dominate the people who support your façade, and to neutralize those who do not, keep you in a constant state of agitation, which can sometimes express itself as boundless ambition.

Wendy Walker’s new book EMMA IN THE NIGHT will be published by St. Martin’s Press on August 8, 2017.