Delighted to share my review for The Night Swim by Megan Goldin today for my stop on the blog tour. My thanks to John at St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity!
Author : Megan Goldin
Title : The Night Swim
Pages : 352
Publisher : St. Martin’s Press
Publication date : August 4, 2020
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
After the first season of her true crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall is now a household name—and the last hope for thousands of people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help.
The small town of Neapolis is being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. The town’s golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping a high school student, the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season Three a success, Rachel throws herself into interviewing and investigating—but the mysterious letters keep showing up in unexpected places. Someone is following her, and she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister twenty-five years ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insists she was murdered—and when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody seems to want to answer. The past and present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases that will change the course of the trial and the lives of everyone involved.
| MY THOUGHTS |
Oooh, this is good, you guys! This is very, very good!
Rachel Krall is the voice behind a true crime podcast. She has traveled to the town of Neapolis to cover a devastating rape trial. The golden boy of the town has been accused of raping a high school student. Rachel throws herself into interviewing, investigating, attending and reporting on the trial. But someone else is vying for her attention. Someone is following Rachel, leaving her letters and asking for her help in solving the tragic death of a sister twenty-five years ago. Officially, Jenny Stills drowned. Did she? Or was there more to the story?
Have I mentioned how much I love cold cases? Twenty-five years is a long time. Potential witnesses have moved away, maybe even died. Paperwork could have gone missing or been destroyed. And when you do find someone willing to talk about events from back then, how reliable is their memory? As it is, nobody seems to have been that bothered about what happened to Jenny and when Rachel starts asking questions, she realises it’s remarkably hard to find someone who’s willing to answer.
Meanwhile, there’s the rape trial. His word against hers. A town divided by opinion. Did he or did he not? And all those horrible, prejudicial statements one encounters when something like this happens. Why would a young man with dreams of swimming at the Olympics, who seemingly has it all, risk everything to force himself on a young girl when he could have whomever he wants? If something happened, it must have been consensual and the girl just changed her mind afterwards. Or if it did happen, surely the girl asked for it? Asked … for … it. Ugh.
There is a lot to get angry about in The Night Swim. There is a lot to be incredibly sad about as well. This isn’t an easy story to read and at times, I felt awfully uncomfortable. But boy, is it gripping and compelling. Once I started reading, I just couldn’t stop and I flew through the pages as if my life depended on it. I thoroughly enjoyed the switching back and forth between trying to find out the truth about what happened to Jenny through her sister’s letters to Rachel and the present day rape trial, also accompanied by Rachel’s thought-provoking podcasts episodes.
I made up my mind about the trial quite early on. Hereby proving I’d make one of those awful jury members who already makes a decision before the trial even kicks off. Oops. The cold case, however, I couldn’t figure out at all. I sometimes felt the clues were right there but the overall picture evaded me and I was totally fine with that because the ultimate reveal would obviously have been way less shocking and gasp-worthy if I had.
Considering the subject matter, it seems somewhat wrong to say I “enjoyed” this book but I did. It had me utterly engrossed from start to finish. Despite hearing many good things I somehow managed to miss Goldin’s debut, The Escape Room, but after reading this one I’ll definitely be correcting the errors of my ways. Looks like this is an author to watch, guys, and The Night Swim undoubtedly deserves a spot on your to-be-read lists!
With thanks to the publisher for the review copy! The Night Swim is available to buy!
| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |
MEGAN GOLDIN worked as a correspondent for Reuters and other media outlets where she covered war, peace, international terrorism and financial meltdowns in the Middle East and Asia. She is now based in Melbourne, Australia where she raises three sons and is a foster mum to Labrador puppies learning to be guide dogs. The Escape Room was her debut novel.