What Happened That Night

A NetGalley Book Review

Author: Deanna Cameron

Publisher: Wattpad Books

Date of Publication: September 2019              

Number of Pages: 328

My Rating: 4 out of 5

When Griffin Tomlin is found dead in his parent’s swimming pool, the Porterfields’ lives are irreversibly changed. Shortly thereafter, Emily Porterfield is arrested and charged with his murder.

Her sister Clara, who has had a crush on Griffin for a long time, knows more about the murder than she is saying. The family is torn apart, with Emily in jail and her parents unable to reconcile their reactions to the news.

It turns out that Griffin was not as perfect as previously thought by all. Clara told her sister about a traumatic event and believes this to be the reason that led to Emily’s act. With the aid of her new friend, Aniston, who is a writer for the school paper and amateur sleuth, she begins to see that there may be more to Emily’s act than she initially believed.

What they uncover is as shocking as it is unexpected. Clara is tormented by what she knows and its aftermath. She also finds herself drawn to Griffin’s best friend, Kolby further complicating her feelings.

This is book addresses the deep themes of sexual assault, torture, and murder. Clara narrates the story vividly. Her complex emotions are extensively explored and prominently displayed.

We equally see the reactions of those around her and how they impact her. The considerable pain and social isolation of sexual abuse victims is evident throughout the book.

The author seamlessly moves from the present to the past as she develops the plot. I found this book interesting and engaging, although it was not an easy read because of the subject.

I was drawn to Clara’s character and acutely felt her pain. I felt like Emily’s character could have been better thrashed out to help us make more sense of her behavior.

I am absolutely going to look out for more of Deanna Cameron’s work, as I love her writing style.

I rate it 4 out of 5 and recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading mysteries and does not mind delving into deep heavy themes.

Thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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