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Good plot but ponderous in places

Updated: Sep 9, 2021

That Night - Gillian McAllister


Pyschological Thriller Fans rating - 78%

The premise of this thriller by Gillian McAllister promises a great story.

Frannie, on holiday in Italy with her brother and sister, Joe and Cathy, accidentally knocks down and kills a local man.

Fearful of the consequences, she calls Joe and Cathy in a panic and together they agree the best course of action is to bury the body.

Will they get caught? Who was the man they killed? And why was he heading to see them with Joe’s name on a piece of paper in his back pocket?

Three intriguing questions that provide a strong narrative drive to propel the reader through the pages.

This had all the makings of a superb page-turner, but I’m afraid I found the writing laborious and slow in places, particularly at the start.

Some of the more critical reviews on Amazon reveal I wasn’t the only reader to feel this way. It meant the book became a long, slow read that at times had me skip-reading sections to get to the action.

Most of the ponderous parts concentrate on delving into the complex and almost incestuously close relationship between the siblings, am I felt the final manuscript could have lost around 5,000 – 10,000 words and been much stronger.

That said, I did persevere and I’m glad I did. The story comes to an explosive – if not altogether unexpected conclusion – that is satisfying and unexpected.

No huge twist at the end which we’ve become used to with books such as The Silent Patient and Verity, but this doesn’t detract from the story.

In fact, I’ve read too many thrillers recently where a twist is thrown in at the end which doesn’t make sense based on what the characters have revealed about themselves. More on this subject in a future blog!

Overall, not bad. And it certainly ticks the boxes of a psychological thriller when you realise who are the protagonist, antagonist, and victim are – the holy trinity of characters required in a psychological thriller plot.

I gave it a 78% Psychological Thrillers Fans rating.



During a family holiday in Italy, you get an urgent call from your sister.

There's been an accident: she hit a man with her car and he's dead.

She asks for your help.

She'd cover for you, so will you do the same for her?

But when the police come calling, the lies start . . .And you each begin to doubt one another.

What really happened that night?

Who is lying to who?


How to Disappear

No Further Questions

Everything But the Truth

The Evidence Against You

Anything You Say

The Good Sister

The Choice


*Please note - while I'm not affiliated to the author, I do make a small commission on purchases made through these links.


AJ Wills is the bestselling author of multiple psychological thrillers. He was a journalist for more than twenty years and has been writing full-time since March 2021. He's married to fellow thriller writer, AJ McDine.

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