Norah McClintock’s novel About That Night is a mystery for teens. The clues unravel in such a way that the reader takes on the role of detective, figuring out gradually what happened. My suspicions didn’t pan out, but it is good to be surprised in a mystery novel.
The reactions to the deaths were not convincing. It’s unclear if McClintock is trying to write Jordie as a sociopath or if she fails to express how a person would react to a boyfriend’s death. Even if she wasn’t in love with him, anyone you know dying should be more upsetting than it is to her in the story. Her cold, calculated reasoning as she tries to determined what happened makes her difficult to relate to. That her sister, Ronan, and their classmates don’t have stronger reactions to events either makes it seem like a writing failure rather than a character flaw. The lack of emotional reaction in the characters leads to a lack of emotion in the reader.