Reviewed by Meg Massey
Toni Murphy was a typical teenager with every day problems: a boyfriend her parents disliked, a perfect sister she couldn’t relate to, parents who didn’t understand her, and bullies that made high school a living hell. But when her sister Nicole was found murdered after a night out with Toni and her boyfriend Ryan, Toni’s problems were just beginning. She and Ryan were later convicted of killing Nicole, and after a grueling trial, both went to prison for the crime.
Opening in the moments after Toni is released from prison, That Night jumps back and forth through time, revealing a troubled year in Toni’s past that led to her sister’s violent murder, and the horrific treatment that she endured in prison. In the present, after being released, Toni is determined to put the past behind her and does everything that she can not to violate parole. Even speaking with Ryan is a violation, but when he runs in to someone from their past, he believes that they can find the person that really murdered Nicole. And while Toni is desperate to move on, she knows that she can never really do so until she finds out what happened to her sister on that horrible night.
That Night is a suspenseful tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final pages. While I found Toni difficult to relate to personally, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her as she lost everything: her relationship with Ryan, her sister, and the trust of her parents. But when Toni becomes resolved to take control and solve her sister’s murder, things become really interesting. Lies told by supposed witnesses begin to unravel, and a shocking truth is revealed in the final pages. I felt this novel might appeal more to a young adult audience, only because of the author’s focus on Toni’s teenage years, but I still very much enjoyed the novel and would recommend it to those who enjoy mysteries or crime novels.
This novel does contain language, sex, drug references, and violence.
Meg lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Ryan. Library professional by day, freelance writer by night, Meg writes about life, entertainment and everything in between.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by St. Martin’s Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.