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 the truth might be the most terrifying thing of all.
Confession: I’ve never read a story talking about inmates and paroles before picking up That Night.
I liked the way the story began. We caught glimpses of what really happened as the story unfolded. Toni wasn’t the most pleasant character. She carried a lot of heavy emotions and because of the unfavorable circumstances, she did not have an easy life. You see, Toni’s younger sister was murdered. Some people were trying to cover up something and before long, no one really knew whom to trust and what’s the truth. Things felt kinda unreal to Toni when she and her boyfriend Ryan became suspects. And when they were both convicted, nothing made sense anymore.
Angry characters were among the hardest for me to connect. Prison life was tough and Toni didn’t know if she could find a way to make a living when she was released. She made some friends in prison but she also made some enemies while she was on parole. It’s difficult not to be judgmental while reading such heavy subject but I liked that Toni was not an immature person. She learned from her past and she was willing to take risks when the stakes were high. Through her action, I understood what’s hiding behind her anger and as I was reading the story, I felt an urge to want her to feel safe again.
It wasn’t hard to connect the dots and got a vague picture of what might have happened on the night of the murder. But the full scope of what exactly happened was beyond my imagination. I was both terrified and disgusted when I learned the truth!
What saddened me the most in the story was the relationship between Toni and her mother. They were so similar – very stubborn and intense type – if you know what I mean. Their relationship was not a positive one but I think we could all learn something valuable out of it.
The secondary characters offered a fair bit of somberness to the story. There was a motherly figure who helped to bring out the soft side of Toni and I liked that the story had a focus on exploring both the light and dark sides of human nature.
I haven’t read any books by Stevens prior to this but now that I’ve read one, I think I’ll have to check out all her other books. Have you read any of her books?
About the Author
Chevy Stevens is the New York Times Bestselling author of STILL MISSING, NEVER KNOWING, and ALWAYS WATCHING.
Chevy grew up on a ranch on Vancouver Island and still lives on the island with her husband and daughter. When she’s not working on her next book, she’s camping and canoeing with her family in the local mountains. Her debut novel, STILL MISSING, won the International Thriller Writers Award for Best First Novel.