The premise of That Night drew me in. A young girl and her boyfriend are accused of murdering her sister, they are convicted; serve twelve years in prison, but the problem is they didn’t do it.
The story is told in the first person through Toni, one of the accused, and sister of the victim, Nicole. I have to admit, first person is one of my favorite points of view, especially for the mystery genre. It begins with Toni’s release from prison and flashes backward and forward to the time before the murder and then back to present day and Toni’s reintroduction into society.
I really tried to like the character of Toni but have to say I just couldn’t and I think that’s maybe one of the reasons this story didn’t work for me. She came across as her own worst enemy. Yes, she’s the victim of school bullies, parents that seemed to favor her younger sister, but somehow I couldn’t cheer her on her journey to put back her life and maybe find out who did really kill her sibling.
One other thing that I felt weakened the story was most of it was told to us rather than showed. I did like the suspense that was added that maybe Nicole was seeing a man, and that perhaps he had something to do with her death. I was hoping to see more of the mystery unfold once Toni and Ryan met up again, but it seemed like there were coincidences and people finally cracking up under the pressure of their secrets, and I guessed the outcome before it arrived.
What I did like was the dialogue and the pacing was spot on. I also liked the structure of the story, present day, past, and then back to what was happening with Toni. The setting was also a strong point.
One thing that did cross my mind while I was reading That Night was that younger adults, maybe those in the 14-21 age range, would find this a great read and maybe connect with Toni more than I did.
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