Have I told you how much I love Megan Goldin’s books? No?? Are you sure? I was raving about “The Escape Room”, I’m sure you have noticed? Well, if you’re not sure, go check my review for “The Escape Room” and read this one as well. “The Night Swim” was a great ride! Let me just tell you why!
Rachel Krall is a journalist. At some point in her career, she decided to turn to podcasting. She likes to make real research on the true crime cases that she talks about in her podcast, which means that she’s looking into the actual police case files, talks to witnesses and maybe even discover a few evidence of her own. As a matter of fact, after an innocent man was set free, thanks to additional evidence Rachel found in the first season of her podcast, she has now become a household name. Her voice is recognizable, but thankfully her face isn’t. Which makes it all the more unsettling when, while being on the road, she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her directly, pleading for her help.
Rachel is heading to the town of Neapolis, to cover a trial which is the main theme of the third season of her podcast. This case has split the town in two, and not only that town. Rachel’s audience is taking sides as well. People are talking of gray lines, where everything should be clear. AS a matter of fact, the town’s most loved young man, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping a high school girl, the granddaughter of the police chief. This case needs her full attention, as she goes through investigation and interviews before the trial begins and then during the trial, watching each and every word that is being said in that court room. She needs to do that and a bit more, if she wants season three to be a success. Rival podcasters are trying to steal as much as they can from her fame and her audience, so she needs to be one hundred per cent focused. However, she cannot. There is a woman leaving letters for her in the most unthinkable places. She will not stop, until Rachel helps her find out what happened to her sister twenty five years ago. The sister that everyone believes was drowned during a Night Swim, while she believes that was murdered.
Two cases that Rachel works in parallel. Two cases in the same small town with twenty five years difference between them. Two cases that seem to be so far apart from each other and yet, as Rachel’s investigation proceeds, they tend to collide.
Rachel is a devoted investigative journalist. She will dig and keep digging for the truth, even if her life is in danger. She won’t stop, until she finds out what really happened. She needs to have all the clues and this is what makes her a great main character. She doesn’t care if this is a cold case or a new one. All she cares is justice and how this can be shared with her audience, so they can make their own minds.
The story is told in two point of views. One is Rachel’s, during which we get to see how she progresses with investigation on both cases, as well as the podcast recordings of her true crime series. The other one is by Hannah, who’s sister was murdered, according to Hannah, twenty five years ago. Bit by bit, we get to know about Jenny and the happy sixteen year old girl she was, before she left her little sister so abruptly. Going back and forth in time, Megan Goldin builds her case on these two crimes chapter by chapter. Along with Rachel, the reader get’s to know about every single detail that could play a significant role in finding out what actually happened. Only that comes in little pieces that have to be put in the puzzle and solve two cases, not one
I really loved how Megan Goldin get’s to talk about taboo crimes and does so in a way to challenge both sides. The rape trial divided the town, but it also got a voice out of Rachel’s podcast. Why blame the victim for not taking more precautions, while she should be able to walk safely the streets of her town? Why blame the victim for spending time with someone and not wanting to have sex with him? Isn’t that her own decision? Do you have sex with every person you have a coffee or a chat with?
I loved the characters, the plot and the narration. I like how the main character tries to be objective and at the same time forces people to think it through and realize that rape is not playing hard to get or faking being difficult. Rape is real! I loved this story and I hope you love it too!
I received a complimentary ecopy from the publisher via NetGalley. The views expressed are my personal and honest opinion.
About the author
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 Escape Room was her debut novel.