Cover Image: The Night Swim

The Night Swim

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Member Reviews

A taut, compelling thriller that kept me turning the pages. Harrowing at times but recommended! Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this ARC
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3.5 stars. 

Rachel is the host of a popular podcast that focuses on true crime. Now its third season, she's taking the podcast to the road and reporting live from a rape trial in a small southern town. The casensoea not come without its controversies - the accused is a popular swim star from a rich and influencial family. However, a note left on Rachel's windscreen from an enigmatic woman known only as Hannah leads her to another mystery surrounding the small town. One that might be connected to the current ongoing trial...

I found myself getting utterly gripped by this court room mystery. Rachel is a likeable character, inquisitive and sympathetic yet pushy when she needs to be. You know she's a capable character, who will stop at nothing to uncover the truth - regardless of the consequences. Her voice of reason, producer Pete, is often on the end of the phone to talk her down from being rash - yet his lack of presence means she's often got nothing to stop her from being reckless, or asking difficult questions. I liked that side of her personality. Her podcast chapters also shed a bit of light into her backstory and reasons for doing what she does - although I admit I still don't think we know enough about Rachel and her motives.

The letters from Hannah that form some of the chapters sprinkle in this older mystery that just feels very melanncholic and stormy. It's atmospheric, which contrasts well with the current day, high tension filled court room chapters. The two scenarios work well together, and intertwine to form a satisfactory conclusion that connects all the dots. There's also plenty of discussion into rape culture, victim blaming and trauma which I thought were handled sensitively. Most of the harder scenes are described through the eyes of a child, which help to lessen the graphic detail without necessarily taking away the emotional impact. 

I suppose my main negative is that I found the ending a little bit too neat. For a novel that feels so dark and bleak in tone at times, some conclusions came far too easily (although I admit they were very satisfying to read). I suppose to me personally it just didn't feel that realistic after the trauma that came before. 

The ending sets this up very well for a sequel following another season of the podcast with Rachel, and it's one I would be very eager to read about. A great small town murder mystery.
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TRIGGER WARNING - This book discusses sexual abuse in graphic detail. 

I really enjoyed this book, it was really refreshing to have a new and modern twist in a slightly overdone genre. Having a true crime podcast as the thread that looped the story together was a brilliant strategy that I haven't come across before.

The story follows Rachel who is visiting a small town to cover a rape case. While she is there, she starts getting letters from someone urging them to look into their sisters death. As the trial takes place and we follow that storyline, we start to learn more about the dead sister. 

The plot weaves in and out of both storylines, and they're both fascinating. 

I found the book to be well written, detailed and it had me on my toes. I thought the ending wrapped up the storyline beautifully. There were plenty of twists for those twist hungry readers among us!
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I had a fantastic time with this book, and it's so much improved over The Escape Room that I have to give it five stars.

Trigger Warning: It's about the rape of two girls and the murder of one of them. It's not a passing scene, the rapes are described throughout the book, though not graphically.

The Night Swim is a fast paced thriller with a lot of characters with very dark pasts. It takes place in a small town where everyone knows everyone, they all grow up together, and residents rarely leave. It's about class and sexism and misogyny, and the very slight differences in how we treat rape victims now versus in decades past. In truth, there are not a lot of differences, but there are some.

The main character, Rachel, is the narrator of a famous true crime podcast, and I love these books when they are done well. This one does it well. Our secondary character is Hannah, the younger sister of a girl who was raped and killed as a teen 25 years before. Rachel is currently reporting on the trial of a college swimmer accused of raping a teenage girl in current times.

[In real life, the Stanford swimmer rape case was local for me. I knew the locations involved, I was able to vote to recall the judge in the case, I read the victim's memoir and because it was a local case, it all felt very personal to me. If you have any desire either to read about that case or to hear exactly what happens after a rape, Know My Name by Chanel Miller is invaluable. The Night Swim does not take its main details from that case, but does appear to report the aftermath of a rape accurately.]

The primary plot of this book is Rachel and her investigations into the crimes against both women, and it is a gripping ride. There were a lot of characters who were intertwined but I was able to imagine each of them and remember who was whom. I didn't find any glaring plot holes in this complicated story, and I felt it was for the most part believable.

It was so good I had to forgive it when one of the rapists decides to just confess everything for no apparent reason at all. Honestly, I was mad at this part, and maybe not too happy with how that particular story was wrapped up. But it wasn't the main focus of the book, nor was it the main ending, and I did love everything else.

I thought The Escape Room was an enjoyable mess. I hated that I enjoyed that book as much as I did. The Night Swim is a Not Guilty Pleasure, and I hope Rachel Krall appears in upcoming books by Goldin. Thoroughly enjoyable!!

Thank you to NetGalley and Mirror Books for the ARC (which I received after publication). I was slightly hesitant because of my ambivalence over Escape Room, but Goldin has upped her game here and definitely earned five stars!
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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. 

For anyone who likes or has read the work of Holly Jackson, then this is the book for you. It is so different from your usual, psychological thriller, it is so much more and so gripping. This is the type of book you read in one sitting by a cosy fire on a cold, winters night. This is a first for me by the author and one I enjoyed and would read more of their work. The book cover is eye-catching and appealing and would spark my interest if in a bookshop. Thank you very much to the author, publisher and Netgalley for this ARC.
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This book kept me reading and guessing to the very absolute page turner.

The Night Swim is a thought-provoking and captivating read.  A story that deals with issues such as victim blaming, shaming and guilt.  It was an incredibly emotional read for me, each chapter had me experiencing different emotions from anger, to sadness, to utter hopelessness and when we finally discover the truth about what happened to Jenny, I just had to sit for a while in total silence to take that in.

A completely gripping read...I would highly recommend.
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The Night Swim is a captivating double-story that leaves you wanting more with every chapter. You experience an ongoing trial, famous crime podcaster, Rachel Krall's follow-up podcast episodes, mysterious letters that keep showing up for her, and Rachel's daily experiences. This is a book you WILL NOT be able to put down!

I thoroughly enjoyed the parallel storylines that ran throughout this book---after figuring out an occurrence from the past, it was impossible to put it down before reading the following present-day happenings.  The podcast episodes were riveting! Coming from an avid true crime/suspense podcast listener, I felt like I was listening to a real podcast and hearing the nuances in Rachel's storytelling firsthand. This book delves into some tough subjects but in such a delicate & respectful way. It emphasizes that popularity is not a redeeming quality and eventually, people will have to answer for their actions.

Goldin's writing is captivating, thrilling, and un-put-down-able. The ending will leave you speechless and amazed at how all the events we were slowly watching unfold transpired together. I thoroughly enjoyed The Night Swim and can't wait to read it again!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Mirror Books, and Megan Goldin for the ARC of The Night Swim!
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This is quite a slow burn to start with and I was surprised to find myself really enjoying the read the further I got into it. Overall, a very good thriller and definitely worth the read.
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This is a brilliant read.
Wonderful well written plot and story line that had me engaged from the start.
Love the well fleshed out characters and found them believable.
Great suspense and action with wonderful world building.
Can't wait to read what the author brings out next.
Recommend reading.

I read a complimentary advance copy of the book; this is my voluntary and honest review.
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4.75* Highly recommended. I found this really gripping. I loved the way it was intricately woven and then unfurled like a fern leaf for the truth to be revealed. 
An Australian best selling author, who is new to me. 
Rachel Krall has broadcast her true crime podcast and has become well known for managing to set a wrongly imprisoned man free. Trying to maintain the podcasts popularity in the face of budding competition she investigating  2 cases, one that she had intended to look into, the topical controversial rape trial of a small towns golden boy and potential Olympic standard swimmer accused of raping the chief of Police’s grand daughter. 
She is also stalked and pushed into investigating a cold case that was attributed to drowning, but her sister is insistent that she was murdered. 
Story is told by Hannah ( whose sister drowned) and Rachel (the podcaster)
Rachel comes across as a very likeable character who desperately wants to do the right thing for justice to prevail, but also trying to present an unbiased view. She is caring and compassionate. 
There’s a bit of repetition regarding testimony and interview statements. This is the only reason for the 4.75* 
The suspense and tension really builds up between both the stories as the book draws to a conclusion. 
It’s quite emotional too. 
I hope that her 4th podcast series makes it to another book.
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This is an author new to me and she really knows how to keep readers in the palm of her hand!

Rachel Krall became an overnight sensation thanks to her true crime podcast. Taking it to the next level, she travels to a small town where she has secured permission to attend court each day and record her podcast each evening for a rape trial which is dividing the population. Normally able to work in anonymity as, of course, it's her voice which is recognisable and not her face, Rachel is surprised to find a note on her windshield begging for her help. Someone knows who she is - should she be worried? As the notes continue and the trial gets underway, Rachel finds her attention divided; along with the case she's hearing about in court there also seems to be a historic case which is piquing her interest. Uncovering more details, she is concerned about the possibility of a connection between both cases.

Now, I'm a bit sceptical when it comes to blurb about books; I tend to take it all with a pinch of salt but the comments on this one are spot on. It is thrilling beyond measure! I especially love to tackle a completely different take on a situation and this is certainly that. Our experience of the crime in the trial comes through Rachel's presence in court, whilst both her and our knowledge of the cold case comes through the letters which she keeps finding in the strangest of places. There is never a dull moment in this one .. it races on with the story and I could hardly bear to put it down until I got to the nitty-gritty. The ending is unexpected and rather spectacular, as well as being so very, very satisfying. I honestly had no idea where this one was heading so my only choice was to go with the flow and it was a bit of a white water ride with excitement all the way! Highly recommended. I'm trying to be much stricter with my ratings this year, but there is absolutely no reason for this novel not to have the full five stars.
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The first season of Rachel Krall’s true crime podcast Guilty or Not Guilty was a runaway success, leading to the exoneration of an innocent man, and catapulting Rachel into podcast superstardom. With Guilty or Not Guilty entering its third season, and with copycat podcasts springing up left, right and centre (I’m seeing a lot of Serial comparisons here), Rachel feels more pressure than ever before to do something different, something special, something meaningful.

Deciding that investigating a case in real time is the something different she needs, Rachel journeys to the town of Neapolis, where the town’s golden boy has been accused of the rape of a teenage girl. While Neapolis may be a town devastated by the fall from grace of its golden boy – an Olympic hopeful swimmer named Scott Blair – it is also a town hiding a decidedly dark past.

Before she arrives in town, a note left on Rachel’s windshield urges her to investigate the death of local girl Jenny Stills, who died by drowning twenty-five years earlier. Jenny’s death, the note alleges, was no accident. In fact, Jenny was murdered and, in a town where past and present forever intertwine, Jenny’s murderer will be present in the courtroom at upcoming rape trial.

It’s up to Rachel to uncover the murderer, who has been hiding in plain sight for twenty-five years, and get justice for Jenny. Now that’s something meaningful.

Thoughtful examination rather than explosive page-turner, The Night Swim by Megan Goldin, is a meticulous exploration of what can happen in a town that fails to learn from the mistakes of its past.
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After reading a bunch of semi-average thrillers, this one blew me out of the water... literally.

When true-crime podcaster, Rachel Krall, arrives in small-town Neapolis, her main focus is the upcoming rape trial that will be the topic of discussion for season three of 'Guilty or Not Guilty.' The accused is swimming sensation and local golden boy, Scott Blair, while the alleged victim is a 16-year-old girl named 'K' to protect what little privacy she has. While in Neapolis, Rachel is spooked when a series of letters from a girl called Hannah are left for her, begging for her help with her sister's death that occurred years earlier in the small town. Hannah believes Jenny was murdered, and Rachel is the only one that can help. With its small-town status and tightknit community, Rachel realises that there are connections between the two cases and is in a race against time to make sure justice is served. 

This book ticked all the boxes. I loved how the plot interweaved between the present-day rape trial and the build-up to Jenny's death. I thought they complemented one another perfectly and were brilliantly executed. I felt an even stronger connection to the trial than usual because of the podcast chapters - as a huge Serial fan, I really felt like I was a part of the trial which was the whole purpose of the podcast. I thought this was a unique perspective that was inspired by current true crime podcasts and worked really well in this fiction novel. I was on the edge of my seat throughout, desperate to know what the trial verdict would be and how Hannah came to be murdered. 

The author built the tension perfectly without stringing the reader along with unnecessary filler. There were just enough characters to suspect everyone was hiding something which kept that element of suspense. I did work the ending out just before it was revealed but through logic, as the author left subtle clues throughout and I was quite proud of myself for reaching the conclusion; I certainly didn't feel cheated in any way like I normally would. There was motive and reason which are two vital elements I need in a thriller for it to feel plausible.

I also appreciated how the author sensitively tackled the rape trial; it is so difficult to convict rapists as it is usually their word against the victim. They are complex and traumatic which showed in the testimony and podcast recordings. It was clearly researched and I commend the author for portraying a rape case in a very real way.

Thank you NetGalley for sending me a free digital copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Am I the last one here to read The Night Swim? Most of my GR friends have read it and rated it 4 or 5 stars and I have to agree! 

The Night Swim can be described as a thriller with some court drama elements. Rachel is a presenter of a popular true crime broadcast and her newest story brings her to Neapolis to observe a controversial court trial of a rape case. While in Neapolis she starts receiving letters from Hannah who wants her to look into her sister's death from 25 years ago. 

I enjoyed the parallel narration of the two stories which had more similarities than originally believed. Large parts of the book take place in the court following the trial, which was brilliantly done, keeping the tension up throughout the book. Megan Goulding talks about rape in great detail but with sensitivity and valuable insight into the societal prejudices often accompanying rape victims. 

Many thanks to Mirror Books for my review copy in exchange for an honest review.
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There was so much hype with this book i didn't know if it could meet my expectations but wow did it ever. The combination of adding a podcast twist to this story was incredible and added such a unique layer to the book. I love podcasts and i loved this element but i think even if it didn't have that then i would love the story.
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I didn’t know what to expect from this book when I first picked it up, but I was hooked from the very start and couldn’t put it down.

The story follows Rachel Krall as she reports on a rape trial in the small town of Neapolis for her podcast. At the same time, she is contacted by Hannah, who believes her sister was murdered 25 years ago in the same town. The two storylines intertwine, as Rachel discovers the mysteries of the past.

While some of the themes covered made for uncomfortable reading, the writing style and portrayal of the characters was perfectly done - I think this book will stay with me for a long time.
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'The Night Swim' might be my favourite thriller of the year! It's the story of Rachel, an investigative journalist, who runs popular crime podcast 'Guilty or Not Guilty'. She is reporting on a rape trial in the town of Neapolis, when she receives a letter from Hannah asking for help to prove that her sister was murdered, and not accidentally drowned as it was officially recorded. 

I loved how the story was told from the point of view of Rachel and Hannah, but also featured extracts from the podcast. I've listened to a few true crime podcasts and I thought these chapters were really realistic, and I loved Rachel's sign off! 

If I'm honest, I don't think I particularly warmed to any of the characters. Rachel is incredibly work-focused and audacious, but came across as quite cold... possibly because we didn't learn much about her personality. It didn't bother me TOO much because the storyline was so good, but it would have been a nice bonus! 

I didn't see the ending coming... I was forever trying to work out how the two stories would come together but didn't manage to work it out in time! 

If you enjoyed 'A Good Girl's Guide to Murder', you would like this more 'adult' version! I'll definitely be looking out for more books by Megan Goldin in the future.
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Absolutely brilliant book, really enjoyed it. Really interesting and thought provoking. I look forward to the next book.
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Thank you for NetGalley for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review. The book follow Rachel and her true crime podcast; "guilty or not Guilty" Rachel heads off to a small town to cover the rape of a young girl by a well know and well loved local man. When she arrives she received a series of notes mentioning a very similar case from 25years prior. Both girls subjected to rape and one girl ending up dead. I really like the way that rape cases were shown in this book very true to life and makes you really think about the awful situation victims of rape are thrown into in court the system is very biased toward the defendant and the victim has to relieve the ordeal in great detail and be subjected to harsh cross examination where their very chartered is questioned as if they asked to be raped its a sad but true fact and one that needs highlighting and changing whereas the culprit doesnt even have to take the stand. Overall an easy read I would recommend.
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A compulsive thriller on an important subject. 

The story follows Rachel, a journalist with a successful true crime podcast as she arrives at a small town to cover a rape trial. Whilst there, she is approached by Hannah, a former resident of the town who has returned on the anniversary of her sister’s death, asking for Rachel’s help to solve what she believes was a murder. 

The story is told through a combination of prose following Rachel, episodes of her podcast and letters from Hannah to Rachel recounting the events up to her sister’s death. This helps keep the reader hooked to the story. The first third I found a little slow but it soon picked up and I couldn’t put it down to see how both threads of the story intertwined and how they were resolved.

This is a difficult and emotive subject to write about but I thought it was handled well. Definitely one of the better thrillers I’ve read recently.
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