I fell in love with Chevy Stevens's writing when I read Still Missing. The realism of her plots captures the shock due to such headlines, yet is not so over the top to be for shock value alone. All of her stories have simply enthralled me, and That Night was no exception. Actually, I stayed up until 1 am because I had to finish it. I just couldn't stop with "just 1 more chapter".
When I started That Night I thought perhaps Stevens was throwing a curve ball my telling the story from the criminal's point of view instead of the victim as the previous novels. Given that she added the twist of telling Always Watching from the shrink's point of view, I wouldn't put it past her. However that wasn't the case, the twist may have been the absence of Dr. Lavioe who has been present in the last three books.
Toni was 18 when she and her boyfriend were sentenced to serve 15 years for the murder of her sister. For the 15 years she has maintained she is innocent. Sure she played by the rules and expressed remorse so she could earn her freedom with the parole board. Indeed she has all but given hope of ever clearing her name. On the contrary, her boyfriend Ryan has grown more fervent in wanting to prove their innocence.
They are both paroled at the same time and have resettled in their home town, however as convicted felons they can have no contact with one another. Toni returns to rebuild her life and perhaps re-establish some kind of relationship with her parents. Ryan, though, returns for one purpose. He knows the only way for them to be together and truly have a life, their names must be cleared.
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Stevens weaves the readers to the answer of what really happened THAT NIGHT through present day clues and character building flashbacks. I almost had to wonder if she hadn't stepped over the well-crafted realism she displayed in her earlier books into a type of fantasy. Surely "mean girls" as mean as the ones Toni had for classmates couldn't exist in real life. Would they really go so far to torment? But then the headlines of my internet news were alive with tales of the 12 year old being stabbed to please Slenderman and realized Stevens plot is totally plausible.
I thoroughly enjoyed That Night though it is not necessarily my favorite of Chevy Stevens's work. That is probably because there wasn't as much of a psychological element in this book as the previous ones. But it still was a thrilling tale.
Published June 2014 by St. Martin's Press
Read: June 2014
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