Judith D Collins
By Chevy Stevens
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 6/17/2014
My Rating: 5 Stars
As a teenager, Toni Murphy had a life full of typical adolescent complications: a boyfriend she adored, a younger sister she couldn’t relate to, a strained relationship with her parents, and classmates who seemed hell-bent on making her life miserable. Things weren’t easy, but Toni could never have predicted how horrific they would become until her younger sister was brutally murdered one summer night.
Toni and her boyfriend, Ryan, were convicted of the murder and sent to prison.Now thirty-four, Toni, is out on parole and back in her hometown, struggling to adjust to a new life on the outside. Prison changed her, hardened her, and she’s doing everything in her power to avoid violating her parole and going back. This means having absolutely no contact with Ryan, avoiding fellow parolees looking to pick fights, and steering clear of trouble in all its forms.
But nothing is making that easy—not Ryan, who is convinced he can figure out the truth; not her mother, who doubts Toni's innocence; and certainly not the group of women who made Toni's life hell in high school and may have darker secrets than anyone realizes. No matter how hard she tries, ignoring her old life to start a new one is impossible. Before Toni can truly move on, she must risk everything to find out what really happened that night. But in That Night by Chevy Stevens, the truth might be the most terrifying thing of all!
A special thank you for St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.
Having read all of Chevy’s novels, delighted to have the opportunity to read an ARC of THAT NIGHT, otherwise, not sure I could stand the suspense of waiting. Wow, what a night, “THAT NIGHT” was! Stevens is at the TOP OF HER GAME with this upcoming release -- her best novel to date! A page-turner and riveting thriller, which will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end- you will not be able to put down!
THAT NIGHT is about one mysterious night, which changed the lives of three teens –Toni, her sister Nichole, and her boyfriend, Ryan. This novel is so different than most teen murder mysteries, with a new twist, which I found very engrossing and satisfying.
Chevy Stevens masterfully crafted the plot, suspense, and characters--as goes back and forth from present day (2013), as Toni is getting out of prison, at the opening of the book, from Rockland Penitentiary, Vancouver, having served her time, now on parole, at age thirty--four, as well as boyfriend, Ryan for a murder they did not commit (they still are not allowed to be together as would violate their parole) -- With flashbacks from (1996) and events leading up to “That Night”, when they were teens in high school, at Woodbridge High in Campbell River, and the time she was incarcerated and after. However, when they get out, their troubles do not end.
Toni and Ryan were in love as teens, spending their high school years planning for the day of graduation so they could be together, and move out on their own, as each had to fight their own battles at home and found solace in one another.
However, due to constant bullying and threats to Toni’s life, (these girls were devils), she was almost afraid to go out that night after graduation, to a party at the lake. Then oddly, her sister Nichole, which has sided with her nemesis for months, wants to tag along after she has been acting weird. What happened on THAT Night led to the arrest of Toni and Ryan? Who was the real killer?
Stevens definitely knows how to create bullying --Shauna, was the queen of manipulating with her ring of gal followers, with a capital B, and even a cop for a dad! I enjoyed how Stevens maintained the focus on this one night, adding to the suspense and drama, versus creating a number of secondary side story lines. It was like one set up after another, and could not believe Toni was going back for more, to this same town where these people still lived! Of course, when she was in prison, the halfway house, and everywhere she turns – (in or out), she is in the middle of, one hell of a nightmare.
A mystery with lots of twists and turns, dark secrets, tension, and cover ups, a psychological thriller which will keep you guessing until the end (so hated when I was at the park reading, at the good part towards the end and my battery dies on my e-reader – so scrambling to get to my car charger, so I could finish).
THAT NIGHT was so realistic and believable. Loved the character, Toni and her dog Captain, pulled for her relationship with Ryan, totally disliked Toni and Nichole’s mother, her dad was a good one, and enjoyed her relationships with a few of the good in-mates in prison. No matter what she does, poor Toni has one obstacle after another—however, she will not rest until she finds the real killer and justice is served.
THAT NIGHT is a winner and one you will WANT to pre-order---you will not want to miss reading this one . . Would love to see a movie based on this novel – what a cast – can you imagine? Well done, Chevy!