Book Review: That Night

June 17, 2014 Book Review, reviews 8

Book Review:  That NightThat Night by Chevy Stevens
Published by St. Martin's Press on June 17th, 2014
Genres: Fiction, Thriller
Pages: 384
Source: complimentary review copy


That Night opens with Toni being released from prison after serving sixteen years.  Toni and her boyfriend, Ryan, were both tried and convicted of Toni’s little sister, Nicole’s, death while they were in high school. Now that Toni is released she finally tries to figure out what really happened “that night.”

The novel goes between Ryan and Toni’s days in high school during the ’90s, Toni’s life in the penitentiary and finally Toni and Ryan’s release from prison.  Normally I really enjoy when a novel goes between time periods but in That Night I struggled with ‘liking’ Toni or even empathizing with her during her stint in high school and even in the pen.  Toni was horribly bullied by the mean girl clique in high school, and while incarcerated she suffered from the same fate.  I wanted her to stand up for herself; fight; tell; do something rather than continue to play the victim.  I was so frustrated for the first half of the book and the build up to discovering what really happened to sister Nicole but fortunately I held on. . . . .

Once the clues started unfolding, That Night became an unputdownable.  Discovering the clues alongside Toni and the slow realization of the truth is darkly gripping.  We finally begin to see a thread of growth and character in Toni which only adds to the tension of the storyline.  The Justice System is a character in itself and provides much fodder for disgust and frustration.  Having worked in the court systems and seen first hand the travesties only made That Night seem that much more real.  Stevens certainly did her homework on the pros and cons of the entire criminal justice system AND on mean girl mentalities; i.e. bullying.

This was not my favorite Chevy Stevens novel, Still Missing will probably always be my favorite; but That Night does deliver a heck of a last half.  It’s also one that had me reflecting on the time period my daughters were in high school and how bullying has become so prevalent {or is it that we are finally talking about it, naming it, and confronting the problem?}  So in the aspect of leaving the reader with a bit to think about, Stevens certainly succeeds.

For more information on bullying Jodee Blanco’s Please Stop Laughing at Me is an excellent resource.

Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press for the complimentary review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

8 Responses to “Book Review: That Night”

  1. Mystica

    I’ve read all her books except this one. Her books always packs a punch at the end

    • Stacy (The Novel Life)

      She didn’t disappoint with this one with her signature twist! I hope you enjoy it! Can’t wait to hear what a fellow Stevens fan thinks

  2. bermudaonion(Kathy)

    I haven’t read any of her work and will probably start with this one. I think bullying has been around forever but it’s taken a more psychological bent lately when it used to be mostly physical.

  3. Sheila DeChantal

    Still Missing is still my favorite too. I listened tot hat one on audio and the beginning *happening* dropped me to my knees in the kitchen.

  4. Lisa Sheppard

    I just had to force myself to finish this one. I definitely did not see the ending coming but I was so frustrated by then I couldn’t be excited by it. Glad you felt it was worth the read!

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