The Night Swim: Book summary and reviews of The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

The Night Swim

by Megan Goldin

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin X
The Night Swim by Megan Goldin
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  • Published Aug 2020
    352 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

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?

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[O]utstanding...Goldin casts a searing light on small-town politics and how bias can affect the way people view rape victims and their alleged assailants." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Goldin's prose is inviting, at times electrifying, and always sensitive in dealing with hot-button issues…well done." - Booklist (starred review)

"Not as intense as Goldin's blistering debut, The Escape Room (2018), but a remarkably strong contender for second place." - Kirkus Reviews

This information about The Night Swim was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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Lee

The Night Swin
A thriller regarding a true crime podcast The author keeps you turning pages can put book down. A must read. Lee

Betty Taylor

Another Goldin Hit
I loved Goldin’s book “The Escape Room” so was eager to read her newest one. Wow! She did not disappoint. (Now I need to order her first book “The Girl in Kellers Way”.)

Rachel Krall is entering the third season of her popular podcast, Guilty or Not Guilty. The story opens as she arrives in the little town of Neapolis. She plans to attend the trial of the local golden boy, 19-year-old Scott Blair, who is accused of brutally attacking and raping 16-year-old Kelly Moore. Rachel also starts receiving mysterious letters from Hannah whose sister 16-year-old Jenny died 20 years ago, in this same little town of Neapolis. Jenny’s death was declared an accidental drowning, but Hannah is sure she was brutally raped and murdered. So hang on tight, readers. You are in for a wild ride.

The story is told from the perspectives of Rachel and Hannah. Then every few chapters we read the transcript of Rachel’s podcast as she provides reports of Kelly’s trial. I thought this was an excellent way to step back and provide a narration of the trial. Jenny’s story is told mostly through Hannah’s letters to Rachel. Between attending the trial and preparing her podcast, Rachel decides to investigate Jenny’s death using the information Hannah provides her.

I was kept guessing until the end, and I loved the ending. Goldin masterfully gives the reader twists and turns that leaves you breathless. In the end it all fell into place and I was left thinking: How did she do that? This is also a story that has some depth to it. A town divided with some backing the golden boy and others sure there will be no justice for Kelly. And with the other case, we read of Jenny’s tragic life and how her death was considered insignificant. This is an emotional read that will jerk you around. Due to the nature of the two cases, it is quite graphic at times.

Goldin provides a shocking look at our criminal justice system. This is “how trials work. It’s medieval. It’s not about getting to the truth. It’s about who can put on the better show.” After reading this it is easy to understand why rapes tend to go unreported. What happens here in the courtroom is our reality. By giving us two similar stories 20 years apart, we can see where when it comes to rape and assault against women not a whole lot has changed in our society. I am sure I will be thinking about these characters for some time.

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Author Information

Megan Goldin

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 Night Swim is her second novel, after her debut The Escape Room.

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