Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Book Review | The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

The Night Swim is a thriller novel by Megan Goldin.

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.

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?

Trigger warnings for rape and sexual assault.

Oof. This book is a tough one. A tough one to read, a tough one to rate.

The Night Swim is my first book by Megan Goldin and it's expertly crafted. You are following a true crime podcaster who heads to a small town to cover a rape trial. In her podcasting life, she is careful to hide her identity and her face, but someone in this small town knows who she is and needs her help.

The main plot, the subplots, the narrative - they all deal with rape and sexual assault. At one point it literally broke me.

In the beginning of the book, I honestly thought I would give it 2 stars. It's just not subject matter that I want in my entertainment, but as the book went on I got further hooked into Goldin's writing and the way she pieced together the multiple timelines of the rape trial, what happened in the case, and the cold case she's looking into on the side.

I wound up really liking The Night Swim in the end. I give you strong warnings going into this. The rape victims are teenagers and there's a lot of narrative surrounding women, sexual assault, and our legal system.

4/5 stars

Review copy provided by publisher


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  1. This sounds like an intense read. As long as it makes sense with the story, I don't mind this subject matter in books. Sounds like she handles it pretty well.

  2. This does sound like it'd be a tough one to read.

  3. I enjoyed this one. I expected a straight up thriller, but got something a lot deeper!

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

  4. I really enjoyed this one too. It had a lot of layers to it. I agree about it being a tough topic though.

  5. Thanks for the trigger warnings! I have this one in my TBR stack and I can't wait to dive in!


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