Review: The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

Title: The Night Swim by Megan Goldin
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 348 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


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 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?


The Night Swim by Megan Goldin is a brilliantly unique mystery.

Podcaster Rachel Krall travels to Neapolis, N.C. for the latest season of her wildly popular podcast, Guilty or Not Guilty.  She is covering a local trial and posting content in real time. Rachel is also unexpectedly looking into the drowning death of Jenny Stills which occurred over twenty years earlier. Jenny’s sister, Hannah, has reached out to Rachel and she is slowly revealing information through a series of letters. Rachel is a little creeped out by the way Hannah is delivering her missives but she does not allow this to interfere with her investigation. With the trial inching its way to completion, Rachel is coming ever closer to uncovering the truth about what happened to the teenager at the center of the current trial and Jenny’s death in the past. Will there be justice for either woman?

Rachel is a little leery of the furtive notes she is receiving from Hannah.  And yet she is completely drawn into digging into the old case.  Since the events took place in the early nineties,  Rachel is having a little difficulty locating anyone in a professional capacity to answer her questions. She is also in the midst of interviewing people connected to the upcoming trial.  But she cannot ignore her curiosity about what really happened to Jenny.  Will Rachel find the proof she needs to support Hannah’s theory her sister’s was murdered?

The trial offers an eye-opening glimpse of the theatrics of the lawyers on both sides of the case.  It also features heartbreaking testimony that the family of sixteen year old Kelly Moore hopes results in the conviction of her accused attacker Scott Blair. Rachel is surprised to discover a bit of an overlap with her investigation into Jenny’s death.  As the trial draws to a close, has Rachel unearthed a connection between the two cases?

With chapters seamlessly shifting between Rachel and Hannah’s points of view, The Night Swim is a clever mystery that is quite engrossing. Rachel is a vividly drawn character with an uncanny ability to spot clues that others have missed. Hannah is a sympathetic character who wants justice for her sister. The trial is interesting but its outcome is far from certain.  Megan Goldin brings this innovative and compelling mystery to an unforeseen but completely satisfying conclusion. Fans of the genre will enjoy this fast-paced and engaging mystery.

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