Megan Goldin's latest novel, The Night Swim is a dark thriller, one that dives deep into politics, true crime, and podcasts.
Rachel Krall is the host of a true crime podcast, one that feels like it has blown up overnight. Her first season was spent digging into cold cases, and even helping to solve a couple. Since then, people have been begging her to help find closure for the cases closest to their hearts.
Instead, Rachel travels to Neapolis to witness a rape trial, and portray the whole thing over the podcast. Only the case itself is much more complicated than she could have ever imagined. Likewise, the events that unfold in this otherwise sleepy town belay the truth that everyone would want her to believe.
“To tell you the truth, I don't get how we can almost unanimously agree that murder is wrong, yet when it comes to rape some people still see shades of gray.”
I'm not going to lie to you – The Night Swim is an extremely heavy read. Just think about it, it covers all of the pain and trauma that comes with trying to hold a rape trial. I appreciate that Megan Goldin felt compelled to show this perspective, and raise all of the questions that she did.
It doesn't make it any easier to read at times. There are going to be points that are hard to read, in both cases that Rachel comes across. Yet at the same time, I love that she is using her voice to try and make several very important points.
It doesn't hurt that in this case, both cases actually feel like there's a chance for a satisfactory ending. Or that it brings with it plenty of drama, and a podcast twist, which in itself was quite fascinating. I wouldn't mind reading more adventures from the perspective of Rachel and her ever-growing podcast.
On that note, I love the voice given to Rachel. Some of her podcasts are actually written into the story itself, allowing the leading lady to get a chance to literally voice her feelings and concerns. It was really quite clever. It certainly went a long way in enhancing the story, and making it very clear on what side we're meant to take.
This was my first time reading anything by Megan Goldin, and I have BOTM to thank for that. Once again they put a book on my shelf that I may not otherwise have heard of or given a chance to. Now I think I'm going to have to add Goldin to my list of authors to keep an eye on, because I adored her writing style.
Check out more reviews over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks
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 recognised 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?