The Night Swim by Megan Goldin
The Night Swim follows Rachel, the host of a popular True Crime podcast, Guilty or Not Guilty. Rachel is headed to the small coastal town of Neapolis, NC to cover a controversial trial. The town’s golden boy, Olympic swimmer Scott Blair is accused of raping a high school student, referred to only as K. While investigating, Rachel comes across a series of letters addressed to her from a mysterious girl named Hannah. Hannah wants Rachel’s help to find out what happened to her sister Jenny Stills, who drowned in Neapolis under mysterious circumstances twenty-five years ago. As Rachel investigates, she starts to find alarming similarities between the two cases, similarities that will change the lives of everyone involved.
Told in alternating perspectives between Rachel in the present, and Hannah as a combination of letters and flashbacks, The Night Swim tackles America’s fascination with true crime and the often polarizing subject of sexual assault. Part true crime, part legal thriller, The Night Swim largely takes place in a courtroom. If not evident by the synopsis, this book should have a massive trigger warning. The entire book deals with the topics of rape and sexual assault, often delving into graphic details the way a typical trial would.
At times I found this book incredibly challenging and infuriating, in the same way, a typical sexual assault trial would be. Overall I loved it and could not put it down. I loved Rachel as a character, and the premise of her podcast is so interesting. I think Rachel and her podcast would make an excellent series if Megan Goldin was willing to return to her story.
Thank you to Netgalley and St Martin’s Press for the review copy. All opinions are my own.