The Night Swim

“It was Jenny’s death that killed my mother. Killed her as good as if she’d been shot in the chest with a twelve-gauge shotgun.”

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for gifting me a copy of Megan Goldin’s newest book, THE NIGHT SWIM.

“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.”

Okay, I think I need to begin my review by saying that this book was captivating but in glancing at reviews, it seems that a lot of people have neglected to paint this book with bright a bright red ‘trigger warning’ sign. The entirety of this story focused on sexual assault and rape. There is an entire section that is devoted to what a sexual assault victim endures during a sexual assault investigation and examination; Goldin depicted this with such reality that it made me feel sick to my stomach. And then there were the scenes involving the rape of one of the characters… it was awful.

For five years I worked as a victim’s advocate for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors and the way the entire process was depicted in THE NIGHT SWIM was so unsettlingly accurate. I was reminded as to why I left that job; the unfairness of the justice system and the re-victimization of survivors. So, let me be clear when I say this, if you are at all impacted by any of these things then I truly encourage you to re-think reading this book and I do not say that often. 

But, on the other side of the coin, Megan Goldin wrote this story in such a real way that it draws attention to what a survivor endures and how unfair the entire process is to them. I was completely mesmerized by Goldin’s writing style and I was even more impressed with her ability to weave the stories of the characters together until they came together in one conclusion.

THE NIGHT SWIM will be published on August 4, 2020, and can be found at your local bookstore! It has also been chosen as one of the picks for Book of the Month’s August books. 

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