This surreal, somewhat confusing novel didn't push my horror-book buttons. Piccirilli doused the present story with frequent flashback bits; this only works when done sparingly, and so it didn't work here.
University life is always challenging, but for this character, it's unreal. Half the time I really didn't know what was going on. There were some awkward shifts in scenes and sequence. Caleb has his hands full being preoccupied with the mystery of a dead girl no one brings up, memories of his sister's suicide, consulting a strange friend who is a sleeping prophet, all while unraveling bizarre actions of the university leads. Really the story sounds quite good with it's summary - lots going on to mess with the mind and keep interesting - but it just doesn't do that.
The beginning stands as the best part as things unravel, but the middle grew sluggish as it was pulled into too many confusing directions, topped with going back and forth between memories and different shifts of reality. The ending starts to conclude with a decently solid wrap-up/betrayal, but then ruins it all by an ending that's supposed to stand as an ironic twist it doesn't deliver.
Caleb is likeable enough - clearly troubled and it grows worse because of the bizarre university life. Why was he considered so special? The stigmata is cool but nothing comes of it besides it being there, letting him know when someone died. I just don't get his connection with the teacher he hates and what he's seeing beneath the layers. Perhaps if I could grasp the book better, I'd have enjoyed it more.
Overall I'll have to slap a failing grad on The Night Class. It dares to be different - kudos for that. I generally like surreal stories, but this one is so surreal it just loses connection. It's hard to care much about a story that shifts this much. The writing style made it easy to read and quick to finish (although the irrelevant song and poetry lyrics weren't welcome), but that's not enough to save it.