Chevy Stevens has a talent for creating gripping plot lines
and books that practically demand to be read in one sitting
--and THAT NIGHT is no exception. Stevens reels in her
readers with quite a hook.
Toni doesn't get along with her mother and to make matters
worse...she is on the wrong side of the hot girl clique at
school. Shauna, head bully and pack leader, used to be
Toni's BFF, but due to a squabble over a boy and
Shauna's sneaky tricks, Toni is tortured daily by this girl
pack of bullies. When they suddenly adopt Nicole, Toni's
younger sister, the bullying becomes almost unbearable. Toni
is always wrong, Nicole always right, and their mom is in
constant denial of Nicole's covert activities. Then Nicole
is brutally murdered and Toni's life changes forever.
Toni Murphy, now thirty-four, is released from Vancouver's
Rockland Penitentiary for the murder of her younger sister,
Nicole. She has maintained not only her innocence - but also
that of her co-defendant and high school sweetheart, Ryan,
through all this time.
THAT NIGHT is told in alternate chapters moving between the
present when Toni and Ryan are both out of prison and on
parole and the time of the murder seventeen years before.
The difference between the narration for the two times
frames is noticeable, from a scared and confused teen Toni
(past) to a strong and determine women who only wants to get
her life back (present). Ryan is determined to find out who
really killed Nicole. 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
THAT NIGHT is a real page-turner. I couldn't put it down
until I knew what had happened. Fans of psychological
mysteries will enjoy this one. THAT NIGHT is so well
written, that even though it jumps back and forth between
the present and the past, it is still easy to follow. Toni's
life both in and out of prison is interesting, and I was
pulling for her to get to live a normal life after having
lost so much and been through so many struggles. THAT NIGHT
is a suspenseful tale that will keep you on the edge of your
seat until the final pages. I highly recommend THAT NIGHT!
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
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.
ROCKLAND PENITENTIARY, VANCOUVER
I followed the escorting officer over to Admissions and
Discharge, carrying my belongings in a cardboard box—a
couple pairs of jeans, some worn-out T-shirts, the few
things I’d gathered over the years, some treasured books, my
CD player. The rest, anything I had in storage, would be
waiting for me. The release officer went through the round
of documents. My hand shook as I signed the discharge
papers, the words blurred. But I knew what they meant.
“Okay, Murphy, let’s go through your personals.” The guards
never called you by your first name on the inside. It was
always a nickname or your last name.
He emptied out a box of the items I’d come into the prison
with. His voice droned as he listed them off, making notes
on his clipboard. I stared at the dress pants, white blouse,
and blazer. I’d picked them out so carefully for court, had
thought they’d make me feel strong. Now I couldn’t stand the
sight of them.
The officer’s hand rested for a moment on the pair of my
“One pair of white briefs, size small.”
He looked down at the briefs, checked the tag, his fingers
lingering on the fabric. My face flushed. His eyes flicked
to mine, gauging my reaction. Waiting for me to screw up so
he could send me back inside. I kept my expression neutral.
He opened an envelope, glanced inside, then checked his
clipboard before dumping the envelope’s contents into my
palm. The silver-faced watch my parents had given me on my
eighteenth birthday, still shiny, the battery dead. The
necklace Ryan had given me, the black onyx cool to the
touch. Part of the leather cord had worn smooth from my
wearing it every day. I stared at it, felt its weight in my
hand, remembering, then closed my fingers around it, tucking
it securely back in the envelope. It was the only thing I
had left of him.
“Looks like that’s it.” He held out a pen. “Sign here.”
I signed the last of the documents, put the belongings into
“You got anything to dress out in?” the officer said.
“Just these.” The officer’s eyes flicked over my jeans and
T-shirt. Some inmates’ families send clothes for them to
wear on their release day. But no one had sent me anything.
“You can wait in the booking room until your ride gets here.
There’s a phone if you need to call anyone.”
* * *
I sat on one of the benches, boxes by my feet, waiting for
the volunteer, Linda, to pick me up. She’d be driving me to
the ferry and over to Vancouver Island. I had to check into
the halfway house in Victoria by seventeen hundred hours.
Linda was a nice lady, in her forties, who worked with one
of the advocacy groups. I’d met her before, when she’d taken
me to the island for my unescorted temporary absences.
I was hungry—I’d been too excited to eat that morning.
Margaret, one of my friends inside, had tried to get me to
choke something down, but the oatmeal sat like a lump in my
stomach. I wondered if Linda could stop somewhere. I
imagined a Big Mac and fries, hot and salty, maybe a
milkshake, then thought of Ryan again, how we used to take
burgers to the beach. To distract myself from the memory, I
watched an officer bring in a new inmate. A young girl. She
looked scared, pale, her brown hair long and messy, like
she’d been up all night. She glanced at me, her eyes
drifting from my hair, down to the tattoos around my upper
arm. I got them in the joint—a thin tribal bar for each year
behind bars, forming one thicker, unbroken band that circled
my right biceps, embracing me.
The officer yanked the girl’s arm, pulled her to Booking.
I rubbed my hands across the top of my head. My hair was
short now, the middle spiked up in a faux-Mohawk, but it was
still black. I closed my eyes, remembered how it was in high
school. Feathered and long, falling to the middle of my
back. Ryan liked to wrap his hands in it. I’d cut it in
prison after I looked in the mirror one day and saw Nicole’s
hair, thick with blood, and remembered holding her broken
body in my arms after we found her that night.
“You ready to get out of here, Toni?” A friendly female
I opened my eyes and looked up at Linda. “Can’t wait.”
She bent down and picked up one of my boxes, grunting a
little as she lifted it. Linda was a small woman, not much
taller than me. I was just a shorty at five feet—Margaret
used to say a mouse fart could blow me over. But Linda was
about as round as she was tall. She had dreadlocks and wore
long flowing dresses and Birkenstocks. She was always
railing at the prison system. I followed her out to her car,
my box in my arms, as she chatted about the ferry traffic.
“The highway was clear all the way out to Horseshoe Bay, so
we’ll make good time. We should be there around noon.”
As we pulled away, I watched the prison grow smaller in the
distance. I turned back around in my seat. Linda rolled the
“Phew, it’s a hot one today. Summer will be here before you
I traced the lines of my tattoos, counting the years,
thinking back to that summer. I was thirty-four now and had
been in custody since I was eighteen, when Ryan and I were
arrested for my sister’s murder. We’d been alone with her
that night, but we hadn’t heard Nicole scream. We hadn’t
I wrapped my hand around my arm, squeezed hard. I’d spent
almost half of my life behind bars for a crime I didn’t