Griffin Tomlin was the golden boy of his town. Smart, handsome, funny, athletic. What we would call an “All-American Boy.” But one night, the town is shocked to learn that Griffin has been murdered. Even more shocking? He was killed by the neighbor across the street, Emily Porterfield.
Clara Porterfield, Emily’s younger sister, was enamored of Griffin ever since she could remember. And she knows why Emily killed him. Or so she thought. So we all thought.
Before I go on, I want my readers to know that this book deals with rape and violence so if these are subjects that trigger or upset you, take care of yourself and stop reading.
When I read the premise of What Happened That Night, I was automatically intrigued and requested a copy right away. Reading it, however, was harder than I expected. Not because the book is bad, because it absolutely is not, but because the author’s descriptions of what happens to one of the characters are harrowing. But she writes them with respect for the victim and the subject matter. Ms. Cameron does not write about these scenes for shock value. No, she writes them to be brutally honest about what many victims go through. I found myself in tears many times throughout the book because I felt the fear, shock and disgust for what the victim had to endure during and after. Especially after, because the psychological toll is what can break a person, even if they have the support system they need to get through such trauma.
Ms. Cameron created very well-rounded characters, ones who all had to deal with the aftermath of Griffin’s murder and Emily’s involvement. I did find one of the characters a little annoying and I wasn’t quite sure why she was in the story until later on in the book. But I appreciated the smaller moments of joy in a tale that could have been completely dark. Because finding those moments can make all the difference.
And just when you think you know why Griffin was murdered, Ms. Cameron messes us all up and reveals a truth that made me say “Oh shit” once I read it. I was appalled and that is a very good thing. I still had some questions once I was done with the book and I wanted to hear more from Emily. I honestly hope the author writes another book from Emily’s perspective. I would love to get inside her brain.
What Happened That Night will be released next month. You can pre-order it now, purchase it from your local bookstore or borrow it from your public library when it’s released. I highly recommend it.
I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher.