Author: Chevy Stevens
Publication: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (June 17, 2014)
Description: 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.
My Thoughts: THAT NIGHT was an engaging thriller told by a young woman who was wrongly convicted of killing her sister. Toni was a pretty typical rebellious teen who fought with her over-controlling mother and defied her by dating the local bad boy. But inside she was a good kid who loved her family. She was also being bullied by a group of girls led by the local cop's "perfect" daughter Shauna. Toni and Shauna used to be friends until Shauna turned on her in ninth grade. At that time, she and her friends began a campaign of harassment that destroyed Toni's reputation with both fellow students and with adults.
Toni lacked parental support too. Her mother favored her younger sister Nicole and couldn't see any good in her own daughter. Her father was a mousy guy who didn't want to upset his wife or take any sort of stand in opposition to her. Her boyfriend Ryan also came from a dysfunctional background. His father was a criminal who sometimes abused him. His mother was so busy supporting the family that she didn't notice what was happening. Both kids found support and love with each other. They had big plans to ditch the small town that treated them badly and start a new life together.
But then Toni's younger sister was killed and Toni and Ryan were accused and convicted of killing her.
The story is told in alternate chapters moving between the present when Toni and Ryan are both out of prison on parole and the time of the murder seventeen years earlier. Ryan is determined to find out who really killed Nicole and get his and Toni's life back. At first Toni is all for following the rules, staying away from Ryan, and doing anything she can to keep from going back to prison. But when the pattern of harassment begins again, she knows she has to find out what really happened all those years ago in order to have a real life.
This story was a real page-turner. I couldn't put it down until I knew what had happened. Fans of psychological mysteries will enjoy this one.
I tried to smile, but I couldn't help thinking that this could be the last time I'd ever see him. I remember a similar moment, all those years ago when I was being led away from him after the trial, how it felt like something was being ripped out of my body. He saw it in my eyes, my doubt and fear, and closed his own eyes for a moment, blocking it out, like he couldn't bear to face that pain either. He turned quickly and climbed out the window, not looking back this time.I got this ARC from Amazon Vine. You can buy your copy here.