Saturday, March 29, 2014
That Night by Chevy Stevens
3.0 out of 5 stars - "When you're searching for the truth, you have to be willing to look at everything. You can't blame yourself for something someone else chose."
Toni Murphy's story begins with her release from prison at age 34 after being incarcerated 16 years for murdering her younger sister Nicole. The narrative is told in flashback style alternating between present day and her senior year at Woodbridge High, Campbell River in 1996. Toni has changed in prison because she has done hard time for a crime she still claims she didn't commit. When finally released on parole after spending almost half her life behind bars, she is an angry woman, determined to reclaim her life and prove her innocence. She's prevented by conditions of her probation from contacting her former love and co-defendant, bad boy Ryan Walker, so she focuses on efforts to find a place to live and a job as she tries to assimilate into life on the outside. But her drive to bring the real killers to justice results in violations of her parole after she decides to return to her hometown to confront those she (and the reader) knows are guilty.
Things always go from bad to worse for Toni, and she's not really a likeable protagonist. There are few surprises as the story unfolds -- it's just a matter of the journey to a predicted confrontation and finale. I kept reading just to see how the author would tie up all the ends and explain the details of what exactly happened that night and why. Most of the supporting characters are stereotypical and one-dimensional and it was hard to work up much enthusiasm for what seemed a foregone conclusion.
I've read all of author Chevy Stevens's books and STILL MISSING is still my favorite and the only one that really had a twist I didn't see coming. This is a departure from the 3 previous novels that were all tied together by one recurring character, and I'm certain that fans will want to read this new one though it is not exactly a suspenseful thriller.
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the ARC e-book to review.