Hello readers! It’s my stop during the blog tour for The Night Swim by Megan Goldin and I’m excited to share my review. Many thanks to John @St. Martin’s Press for tour invite and providing e-copy via NetGalley.
The Night Swim by Megan Goldin
Publication Date : August 4th 2020
Publisher : St. Martin’s Press
Genre : Mystery/Thriller
Pages : 352
In The Night Swim, a new thriller from Megan Goldin, author of the “gripping and unforgettable” (Harlen Coben) The Escape Room, a true crime podcast host covering a controversial trial finds herself drawn deep into a small town’s dark past and a brutal crime that took place there years before.
Ever since her true-crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall has become a household name—and the last hope for 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 new season of Rachel’s podcast has brought her to a small town being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. A local golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season 3 a success, Rachel throws herself into her investigation—but the mysterious letters keep coming. 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 insist she was murdered—and when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody in town wants to answer. The past and present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases—and a revelation that will change the course of the trial and the lives of everyone involved.
Electrifying and propulsive, The Night Swim asks: What is the price of a reputation? Can a small town ever right the wrongs of its past? And what really happened to Jenny?
Other books read by the same author:
The Night Swim was thought-provoking mystery/thriller that revolved around two rape cases, its investigation, and a trial. It was about judicial system, rape and sexual assault, views of people and prejudice.
Writing was flawless, engrossing, and emotive. The setting of Neapolis was atmospheric. Description of Morrison’s Point jetty, cemetery and scenic and historical description was fascinating to read. It made me think how such peaceful and beautiful town can give sinister and tense vibe. It was written in first narrative from mainly Rachel’s and occasionally Hanna’s perspective. Plot was intriguing. There were two rape cases told alternatively through letters, investigation, podcast and trial.
One was ongoing the Blair case, Rachel was following for her third season of Guilty or Not Guilty podcast. As soon as Rachel reached town and started interviewing and telling people about what happened to Kelly Moor, a teenage girl raped by Scott Blair, it was clear Blair was culprit and yet it was shocking to read how people and his parents were turning him victim just because he was most talented and famous swimmer of the town. Even though we know who was guilty, it was uncertain to tell who will win the case till the end. I was curious to find out how prosecutor was going to fight the case.
They are worried no matter how I report on the trial, I’m going to rile people up. I’m going to offend people. I’m going to get hate mail and abuse…
Because rape, for a reason that I can’t understand, is divisive…
The Bible says it straight out: “Thou shalt not kill.”
When it comes to rape, the Bible is more ambivalent. Much like rape law have been for millennia.
And the other was 25 years old cold case– Jenny’s case- that Hanna, Jenny’s sister forced Rachel to follow by sending her letters. Rachel’s voice was famous but not her face and so somebody putting a letter on her car’s windshield in middle of nowhere was creepy. Jenny’s story were told in letters from Hanna’s perspective and through Rachel’s investigation. Like Rachel I was curious to find out what happened to Jenny all those years ago.
All characters were interesting to read. I admired Rachel for her work. She was brave, inquisitive, and strong who plunged into cases putting her life in danger, even though she got many hate mails and threats. Her voice and insights were powerful. I also liked Pete, Mitch, and even judge Shaw. Kelly, Hanna and Jenny were strong in their own way. I hated or disliked every other character but they all were realistic.
When it comes to rape, it seems to me “if only” is used all the time. Never about the man. Nobody ever says “if only” he hadn’t raped her. It’s always about the woman. If only…
Trial started at 40% of the book. By that time we know Rachel’s background story, how she started podcast and worked with her boss Pete, how she gathered information on case, recording podcast about it being neutral all the time, and how she received letters from Hanna without getting any lead for Jenny’s case.
It got more interesting once trial started. Court room drama and Rachel’s podcast about it was my favourite part of the book. Witnesses and experts were called, evidence presented, and yet each time defence was dismissing all the facts and evidence like it was nothing. I liked reading the details of rape kit process as I didn’t know much about it until I read it. It was horrible to read what happened to Kelly. It brought tears to my eyes and outrageous towards defence and that boy for doing that to girl. I agree with everything Rachel said in podcast about why a girl needed to relive the horrific event to prove she was raped and it was not consensual!
I don’t get how we unanimously agree that murder is wrong, yet when it comes to rape some people still see shades of grey.
The more letter Rachel received, more information she got on Jenny’s case, some led to dead ends while some gave leads but it was her secondary case and so it was slow and took time for Rachel to solve the case.
It was most distressing to read what happened to Jenny and even more disturbing was 10-year-old Hanna saw what happened, not all but most of it, not how she died. A kid who couldn’t understand what those boy were doing to her sister but saw her pain, withering and dying inside every day, not knowing what she could do to stop her pain or how she could help, not until she was old enough to understand, not until it was decades later she found Rachel, face the place where her sister died again, and asked for help by telling Rachel bits by bits what happened as she recalled all events. It was heart wrenching and soul shattering to read those letters.
This was definitely not easy read. If you are sensitive to rape or reading about, I would say this isn’t for you. The rape scenes were disturbing, not exactly graphic but still not palatable. It was most outrageous to read the way people acted, those monsters raping a girl with all conscience and without any guilt, regret, thinking they could get away, ruining girls’ life and most of all those sick parents of boy protecting their son turning blind to girl’s pain and suffering and believing their son is all innocent! How could they do that!
Both mysteries were well written. I didn’t have a clue what will happen with both cases. Climax was interesting. Author cleverly connected both cases with a new information that turned the tables in Blair case. Another letter from Hanna, she finally coming out was most interesting part. I couldn’t say who killed Jenny till the face came to light. I had my guesses but I was totally wrong about it. End was perfect.
The Night Swim was captivating, though-provoking and heart wrenching mystery thriller with realistic characters and atmospheric setting. I highly recommend this book.Tweet
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.
Affiliate link : Book Depository
I hope you enjoyed this post and my review. Let me know in comments if you have read this book or any book by the same author. Which is your favourite thriller in 2020?
If you enjoy my posts and blog, please consider supporting me.
Sign up to receive emails whenever I write new post-