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Reivew: The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

Title: The Night Swim
AuthorMegan Goldin
Year Published: 2020

Genre: Adult fiction (thriller)
Pages: 352
Rating: 5 out of 5

Location (my 2020 Google Reading map)USA (NC)

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): 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?

Review: I was so in the mood for a good thriller and this book hit the spot. I finished it in just 2 days even though I am working.

The stories in this book are captivating; I say stories because, really, there are two. The main story is Rachel, the true-crime podcaster, in town to cover a rape trial. Her chapters are her experiences in court, tracking down interviews and her podcast episodes. But there is a parallel story of Hannah who wants Rachel to investigate the death of her sister that took place 25 years go. These stories both unfold at the same pace in ways that compliment each other. The writing is so tight.

I like podcasts so I enjoyed the element of having Rachel's episodes further the storyline. And, I like true-crime podcasts so this was right up my alley.

While this book isn't like most thrillers where it is scary, it is difficult to read at times as the topic is rape. The case in this book reminded me of that swimmer at Stanford who sexually assaulted a woman and acted like his life had been ruined, not hers. The author does a fantastic job at showing how society and the justice system treats victims and "famous" (read: well-connected) perpetrators. 

Challenges for which this counts: 

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