That Night Review
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Some people like to spend their summers reading light, fluffy novels. But if you prefer to balance out the bright summer sun with a dark and dramatic read, you canít go wrong with author Chevy Stevensóor her latest thriller, That Night.

That Night is the story of Toni Murphy, a troubled teen turned even more troubled adult. At 18, Toni couldnít wait to move on with her grown-up life. Her parents didnít understand her, always favoring her perfect little sister, Nicole, instead. The only bright spot was her boyfriend, Ryan.

That summer, it seemed as though Toni and Ryan had their whole lives ahead of them. But then Nicole was brutally murdered, and Toni and Ryan were sent to prison for a crime they didnít commit.

Now 34, Toni is on parole, struggling to stay out of trouble and get her life back on track. But memories of that night still haunt heróas do the witnesses who lied at her trialóand she becomes more and more determined to find out what really happened to Nicole.

  
 
With her latest thriller, Stevens may stray a bit from her usual storytelling style, but the effect is still the same. Toni isnít the type to open up to a therapistóas previous characters have done. Instead, her story is simply a first-person narrative, skipping back and forth through time to explore Toniís teen years, her life in prison, and her struggle to reclaim her life as an adult.

From the beginningówith Toniís release from prisonóThat Night is a captivating story, blending mystery and suspense with elements of teen angst, sibling rivalry, and prison drama into a dark and haunting and often emotional read. Like Stevensís earlier novels, itís strong on atmosphere. Itís tense and foreboding, giving readers an undeniable sense that, in spite of Toniís release from prison, itíll be a while before she can put her troubled past behind her.

But itís not all about the atmosphere. The story also benefits from a strongóand well-developedómain character. Misunderstood as a teenager and bullied by her peers, Toniís rough facade is mostly a cover for disappointment and insecurity. As an adult, itís much the same, with Toniís hardened exterior little more than a defense mechanismóthe result of more than a decade in prison. Though Stevens sometimes struggles to capture a consistent voice for the character, readers will grow to care about her. And as she tries to dig for answers without landing back in prison, youíll hold your breath and hope for the best until you reach her storyís appropriately messy conclusion.

With its chilling set-up, its haunting tone, and its conflicted main character, That Night is another thoughtful story by a must-read author. As with Stevensís earlier novels, the character and her story are sure to linger in your memory after youíve finished reading the last page.


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