Category Archives: Wendy Walker

Review: Don’t Look for Me by Wendy Walker

Title: Don’t Look for Me by Wendy Walker
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary, Domestic Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Length: 345 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


In Wendy Walker’s thrilling novel Don’t Look for Me, the greatest risk isn’t running away. It’s running out of time.

One night, Molly Clarke walked away from her life.

She doesn’t want to be found.

Or at least, that’s the story.

The car abandoned miles from home.

The note found at a nearby hotel.

The shattered family that couldn’t be put back together.

They called it a “walk away.”

It happens all the time.

Women disappear, desperate to leave their lives behind and start over.

But is that what really happened to Molly Clarke?


Don’t Look for Me by Wendy Walker  is an absolutely riveting domestic mystery.

When Molly Clarke runs out of gas in the middle of a storm, she is ready to give up. Five years after a tragedy, her family is farther apart than ever. The gulf between her and her husband John seems insurmountable. Their  twenty-one year old daughter Nicole (Nic) spends her nights in bars and makes choices she regrets in the morning. Their sixteen year old son Evan is away at school and he wants nothing to do with her when she goes to his football games twice a month. As Molly walks along the road in Hastings, CT, she vanishes without a trace.  John and Nic join the police in their search for her, but after a note from Molly is found in a local casino, the local police and her family believe her disappearance is voluntary. But two weeks later, Nic is contacted by a woman with information about her mom. She returns to Hastings with hopes this new lead with help solve the case once and for all.

Nic is disappointed Police Chief Charles Watkins is not more enthusiastic that a new witness has come forward. Despite his caution that this woman might just be after the reward money, he does assign Officer Jared Reyes to go with her to the meeting the next day. Molly checks into the deserted inn owned by Roger Booth who is bit of eccentric. She also faces the mistakes she made on her last visit when she forces herself to talk to bartender Kurt Kent.  Nic is determined to concentrate on keeping a clear head, but her demons sometime get the best of her.

Although her father wants her to return home, Nic cannot leave without searching for her mother. She feels terribly guilty over their last encounter on the morning her mother went missing. She is growing certain her mom did not just walk away from their family.  And when she discovers another woman disappeared without trace ten years earlier, Nic begins to believe there might be a connection to her mom’s case. With assistance from both Kent and Officer Reyes, will Nic learn the truth about what happened to Molly?

Don’t Look for Me is an edge of the seat thriller that is full of suspense. The characters are vibrantly developed with relatable flaws and strengths. The storyline is engrossing and the tension ratchets up with each chapter. With stunning twists and diabolical turns, Wendy Walker  brings this chilling mystery to a  dramatic conclusion.  HIGHLY recommend to readers who enjoy psychological thrillers.

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Filed under Contemporary, Domestic Mystery, Don't Look for Me, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, St Martin's Griffin, Suspense, Thriller, Wendy Walker

Review: The Night Before by Wendy Walker

Title: The Night Before by Wendy Walker
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 316 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Riveting and compulsive, national bestselling author Wendy Walker’s The Night Before “takes you to deep, dark places few thrillers dare to go” as two sisters uncover long-buried secrets when an internet date spirals out of control.

Laura Lochner has never been lucky in love. She falls too hard and too fast, always choosing the wrong men. Devastated by the end of her last relationship, she fled her Wall Street job and New York City apartment for her sister’s home in the Connecticut suburb where they both grew up. Though still haunted by the tragedy that’s defined her entire life, Laura is determined to take one more chance on love with a man she’s met on an Internet dating site.

Rosie Ferro has spent most of her life worrying about her troubled sister. Fearless but fragile, Laura has always walked an emotional tightrope, and Rosie has always been there to catch her. Laura’s return, under mysterious circumstances, has cast a shadow over Rosie’s peaceful life with her husband and young son – a shadow that grows darker as Laura leaves the house for her blind date.

When Laura does not return home the following morning, Rosie fears the worst. She’s not responding to calls or texts, and she’s left no information about the man she planned to meet. As Rosie begins a desperate search to find her sister, she is not just worried about what this man might have done to Laura. She’s worried about what Laura may have done to him…


The Night Before by Wendy Walker is a tension-filled, suspenseful mystery.

Following a crushing break-up, twenty-eight year old Laura Lochner moves in with her sister  Rosie Ferro, brother-in-law Joe and nephew Mason.  Returning to her small hometown is not easy, but Laura is trying to make the best of things under difficult circumstances.  Against Rosie’s advice, Laura signs up for an online dating service and she is going on her first date with Jonathan Fields. When Laura fails to return home, Rosie enlists Joe and their close Gabe Wallace to try to locate her sister.  What, if anything, has happened to Laura? And more importantly, where is she?

Laura has never recovered from the emotional pain of her parent’s divorce. Her history of choosing the wrong man dates back to her first boyfriend in high school.  That relationship ended under a cloud of suspicion which is why she rarely returns to her hometown to visit. Following her devastating break-up, Laura’s makes a fateful decision to move in with Rosie while she tries to figure out what comes next.  She is enjoying reconnecting with Rosie, Joe and Gabe and she is thrilled to have unlimited access to her nephew.   Laura’s heart is broken but she is determined to find a man to share her life with. But will she be able to break her habit for choosing men who are emotionally unavailable? Can Laura trust that Jonathan is telling her the truth about himself?

Due to what happened with Laura’s first boyfriend, Rosie is extremely reluctant to involve the police when her sister fails to return after her date. Luckily, Gabe has the expertise and connections that help them search for Laura. However,  after their efforts fail to locate her, Rosie has no choice but to contact the police. To her dismay, they do not take her disappearance too seriously. Rosie then becomes frantic about Laura’s safety but is she prepared for the information she is about to unearth?

Written in first person, Laura’s chapters are quite compelling as she tries to figure out if she can trust her intuition about Jonathan. Interspersed with both her and Rosie’s chapters are intriguing snippets of her interactions with therapist Dr. Brody. These short chapters provide a heartrending portrait of  Laura’s attempts to understand why she inevitably selects the wrong man. Armed with a better understanding of herself and her motives, Laura attempts to apply this insight to her observations, feelings and gut instincts about Jonathan.

The Night Before is an absolutely riveting psychological mystery that is fast-paced and quite fascinating. Laura’s self-doubt during her date is absolutely heartbreaking since she is unable to completely trust her own judgment. Rosie’s frenzied search for Laura takes a twist-filled turn that makes her wonder if she knows her loved ones as well as she believes.  Wendy Walker skillfully keeps readers guessing what happened to Laura as she brings this mesmerizing novel to a jaw-dropping conclusion. I highly recommend this  clever mystery to fans of the genre.

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Filed under Contemporary, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, St Martin's Press, Suspense, The Night Before, Wendy Walker

Review: Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

Title: Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. 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 were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister’s return might just be the beginning of the crime.


In Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker, fifteen year old Cass and seventeen year old Emma disappear from their dysfunctional home and three years later, only one of them returns. What happened that fateful night? Where have the Tanner sisters been for the past three years?  And perhaps, most importantly of all, where is Emma?

Upon her return, Cass is more than willing to talk to FBI forensic psychologist Dr. Abby Winter and Special Agent Leo Strauss but only if her mother Judy Martin is present. Her explanation of the circumstances surrounding their disappearance is enthralling but she cannot provide more than a vague description of where they were held. She is quite desperate for the FBI to begin searching for Emma but is there more to the story than Cass is revealing?

When the girls first went missing, Abby is the only person who recognized the truth about Judy Martin. After the original investigation stalled, Abby must undergo therapy to put the case into perspective but she never doubts she was on the right track. With Cass’s unexpected return she and Leo are quickly reassigned to the case. While Cass’s account of their disappearance and the years they were gone is quite detailed and much of her explanation rings true, Abby is not certain they are getting the whole truth. Abby’s personal history raises questions about her impartiality in the case but these experiences also make her more sensitive to the subtle nuances in Cass’s behavior and the dynamics of the various relationships in the Tanner/Martin household.

Cass’s first-person narration offers a chilling and heartrending peek into the extremely unhealthy and toxic environment with their manipulative and self-absorbed mother. Her parents’ divorce and the ensuing custody battle resulted in a horrific rift between Cass and Judy and led to a breakdown in her relationship with Emma.  Judy’s quick marriage to a divorced man with a teenage son whose troubling relationship with his new stepsisters also contributes to the increasingly tense atmosphere in the household.  Over the years, the various relationships continue to deteriorate to a shocking degree.

Emma in the Night is a slow burner of a story that alternates between Cass and Abby’s points of view. Wendy Walker’s portrayal of Judy’s narcissistic behavior is a realistic depiction of a rare psychiatric disorder that results in incredibly dysfunctional and psychologically abusive relationships.  The truth about what happened in the years leading up to Cass and Emma’s disappearance is extremely heartbreaking and given the circumstances, very easy to believe. With plenty of unexpected twists and turns, the novel wends its way to a fairly shocking yet completely satisfying conclusion.

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Filed under Contemporary, Emma in the Night, Mystery, Rated B, Review, St Martin's Press, Suspense, Wendy Walker

Review: All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

Title: All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 319 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


It begins in the small, affluent town of Fairview, Connecticut, where everything seems picture perfect.

Until one night when young Jenny Kramer is attacked at a local party. In the hours immediately after, she is given a controversial drug to medically erase her memory of the violent assault. But, in the weeks and months that follow, as she heals from her physical wounds, and with no factual recall of the attack, Jenny struggles with her raging emotional memory. Her father, Tom, becomes obsessed with his inability to find her attacker and seek justice while her mother, Charlotte, struggles to pretend this horrific event did not touch her carefully constructed world.

As Tom and Charlotte seek help for their daughter, the fault lines within their marriage and their close-knit community emerge from the shadows where they have been hidden for years, and the relentless quest to find the monster who invaded their town – or perhaps lives among them – drive this psychological thriller to a shocking and unexpected conclusion.


All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker is a gripping mystery that has an unusual premise and a unique narrator.

Fifteen year old Jenny Kramer is brutally raped and in an effort to spare her the psychological trauma of the attack, her parents make an unorthodox decision to erase her memories of the assault.  The controversial treatment blocks the memory of the act but as Jenny and her family soon discover, the accompanying emotions are still keenly felt. Without a tangible event to attach these feelings to, Jenny suffers from residual fear and anxiety. After a desperate attempt to end her torment, Jenny’s family turns to Dr. Alan Forrester, a local psychiatrist who is also treating another patient that was given the same drugs as Jenny. Due to Dr. Forrester’s limited success in helping war veteran Sean Logan retrieve his memories of the attack that left him an amputee and took the life of a fellow soldier, the Kramer family is hopeful that he can help Jenny remember the details of the rape and possibly identify her attacker. At the same time, the police are finally making progress on the case but outside interference soon hinders the investigation.

Written from the point of view of a very surprising narrator, All Is Not Forgotten unfolds at a steady pace.  The narrator is unemotional and distant as the details of Jenny’s attack and the months leading up to her therapy are slowly revealed.  While this technique is a little off-putting initially, it does not take long to get used to this somewhat unusual form of narration.  The flow of the story is sometimes interrupted as the narrator reveals tantalizing bits of information then backtracks to explain how these details were discovered.  While it appears the storyteller is an impartial observer, the narrator’s careful parceling of information keeps readers off balance and wondering whether or not this person’s account of events is truly unbiased.

With a cast of flawed characters, jaw-dropping revelations and shocking plot twists, All Is Not Forgotten is an intricately plotted, suspenseful mystery that is impossible to put down. Wendy Walker  makes an unusual choice for a narrator but this atypical narration is what makes this novel stand out in the mystery/suspense genre.  A thought-provoking, riveting novel that I highly recommend to readers who enjoy a twisty, turny psychologically complex mystery.

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Filed under All Is Not Forgotten, Contemporary, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, St Martin's Press, Suspense, Wendy Walker