Cover Image: The Night Swim

The Night Swim

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Member Reviews

“To tell you the truth, I don’t get how we can almost unanimously agree that murder is wrong, yet when it comes to rape some people still see shades of gray.”  

The Night Swim is a timely, slow-burn legal thriller that follows true-crime podcaster Rachel Krall as she covers the rape trial of golden boy and competitive swimmer Scott Blair. Scott is accused of raping a high school girl, and the small town they live in is deeply divided about what is considered a he said/she said case. While Rachell's covering that story, she begins receiving letters from a woman who believes her sister was murdered in the same town 25 years earlier.

The book moves between the trial itself, Rachel’s podcast coverage, and letters from Hannah explaining what happened the night her sister was murdered. Some of the details were haunting and upsetting, and rape is a huge trigger throughout, but it's a well-written story that was well-plotted and sensitively dealt with.

The unique format, with alternating narrators and timelines, kept me interested and made this an easy quick read, perfect for a weekend beach read.
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The Night Swim could actually be called The Night Swims, because it's about not one but two girls cast into dark waters. Kelly is a teenager who sneaks off to a party and ends up on a deserted beach, where an older boy brutally rapes her. Jenny is also a teenager, or rather, was a teenager, when she was gang raped and found drowned 25 years earlier. The truth of what happened to each girl remains unclear, which is why both stories catch the interest of Rachel Krall, whose podcast has become a nationwide phenomenon.

Goldin's thriller is the first epistolary novel set in the present-day that I've come across recently. Chapters alternate between Rachel's podcasts, letters from Jenny's younger sister Hannah and third-person narration told from Rachel's point of view. Likewise, the novel alternates between Kelly's and Jenny's stories until a link between the two emerges in the final chapters. I don't know if Goldin will continue with this format but I hope she does. Throughout the book she skilfully interweaves past and present, truth and lies, to create a well-plotted page-turner that underscores how little things have changed. Now we have social-media shaming, but victim-blaming was just as brutal before the internet. And though there has been progress in some areas, it's still all too easy for “golden boys” to gain public sympathy, whatever their crimes. While this dynamic may have shifted on the national scene there are still many places like Neapolis, where athleticism, popularity and money still carry real weight.

Many reviewers loved the courtroom drama, but I had the opposite reaction. As much as I sympathized with Kelly's battle for justice, it was Jenny who kept me reading. In a sense, I found myself in the same situation as Rachel – I picked up the book for the legal drama but got increasingly caught up in the older mystery. Still, Goldin creates a vivid portrait of both victims. I haven't read her first novel, but I would like to see more of Rachel and her podcast in future books.

Much thanks to St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Rachel Krall. the host of a popular true crime podcast, is on her way to Neapolis to follow her latest trial. 
The son of the wealthiest family in town is accused of raping a teenage girl after a party.

Rachel is quickly distracted when she starts receiving notes regarding a case that was dismissed 25 years ago. 
The death of Jenny Stills was ruled an accident and never investigated. 
But Hannah, Jennys sisters, is convinced her sisters death was no accident. 
Rachel is pulled between the two cases, the two crimes, 25 years apart with more in common than this sleepy little town realizes.

The writing was intriguing, and the story was gripping.
Surprisingly unpredictable, which is rare for this genre.
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5/5 stars! This book was awesome! 

When Rachel heads to the small town of Neapolis  to cover a headlining rape trail for her true crime podcast, she starts to receive anonymous letters. The letters beg her to help find the murdered from a 25 year old case. Rachel needs to focus on the case at hand but can’t help her curiosity towards this mysterious case.

This was my first Megan Goldin book and it won’t be my last! Incredibly well written and a great story! It was slow moving like most detective style novels but still very engaging! It dropped just enough clues to have my guessing but it wasn’t too obvious! Bravo!
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This book has an interesting structure - since it is told from the perspective of Rachel, a podcaster that went to a small town to cover a trial for her show, it alternates her investigation with chapters dedicated to the actual podcast episodes, which helps to break the narrative a little bit and instigate the suspense.

Rachel went to a city to cover a current trial, but even before she arrives someone else tries to reach out to her in an unusual way to ask for help uncovering a crime that took place 25 years earlier. At first she's not interested, but as she digs deeper into the case she realizes that it is in fact interesting and she goes on to try to find answers. So, in the end, there are two crimes under investigation - a cold case from 25 years later that was dismissed as accident and the current trial for rape. It is interesting to see how those two intersect.
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I found The Night Swim to be a very average read. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it. The writing was fine, but the pace was so slow. The plot was timely, but only mildly intriguing. The good and bad parts kind of canceled each other out and leaves you with a moderately entertaining, if ultimately forgettable read.

The story follows famous podcast host Rachel, as she reports on a rape trial. We’re supposed to believe she’s an incredible journalist and investigator, so I was surprised by how thoroughly distracted she let herself get by messages from the mysterious Hannah, who wants Rachel to investigate a murder that happened decades prior. Rachel blows off parts of the trial on multiple occasions to investigate Hannah’s claims. The cases have similarities and and ultimately some of the same players. The clues are given out methodically, but slowly and I found myself pretty bored for most of the book.

I had a hard time connecting with any of the characters. We get very little personal information about Rachel and her role seems more as a narrator than anything else. This could have been by design, as she’s supposed to be an impartial host, laying out the facts for her audience. However, it kept me from ever really caring that much about her. She also was far from being impartial. I also found Hannah a frustrating character. She tells her story in fits and starts and I didn’t really understand why it had to be drawn out so long.

The story spends a lot of time on commentary about how rape accusations are handled and trials are conducted. I think a lot of good points are made, but it doesn’t say anything new. Especially with the number of books that center around #MeToo topics these days, this has nothing that makes it stand out among the others.

Overall, The Night Swim was just ok for me. The writing was fine, but I thought it was too slow paced and was much longer than it needed it to be. The mysteries were interesting enough, but the lack of character development really kept me from getting invested. It was a thoroughly average book that I think many people will spend a few days enjoying, before completely forgetting about it.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3 Stars
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A combination courtroom thriller, unsolved mystery and true crime podcast, this novel hits on all cylinders.  Rachel has taken her true crime podcast to cover a sensational rape trial.  Little did she know how she would get drawn into the mystery surrounding the trial while also trying to solve a decades old eerily similar crime.  Rachel is contacted by the deceased’s sister to beg her to re-open the suspected murder of her only sibling.  The trail itself covers the rape in great detail, all the while handling the subject in a very genuine, personal and respectful way.  I’m glad to see the subject handled sensitively, which rings very true to life.  Both crimes are conclusively satisfied and nicely wrapped up. Just read it already!
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This domestic thriller begins from the perspective of podcaster, Rachel Krall, who seeks justice for the unheard and the wronged. She is brought to a small town to cover a rape trial. A high profile Olympic swimmer is accused of raping a high school girl. While in town Rachel begins receiving messages about a past crime that occurred in the town. The sister of Jenny Stills wants justice for her murder that was brushed under the rug 25 years ago. The two stories parallel and collide in this page-turning thriller. I enjoyed the chapters that were written in podcast-style to showcase how deeply Rachel is searching for the truth. Highly recommend for readers of mysteries and thrillers. Thank you to Netgalley for a digital ARC of this title in exchange for my honest review. 
Goodreads review found at:
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The Night Swim was the perfect Fourth of July beach read - fast, alternating narrators and timelines, and two great crime stories. For those of you as obsessed with true crime podcasts as I am, this book follows the host of a true crime podcast as she comes to a small town in North Carolina to report on a rape trial. While she's in this town, she is contacted by an anonymous family member of someone who died years ago asking for help in solving her murder. Both crime stories are captivating - the rape trial putting a high powered, white college student on trial for raping a girl in contest with his friends for who can hook up with the most girls. The second story - a girl who's "murder" had never been investigated...lots of fishy things going on in both stories. While Rachel, the podcast host, reports on the rape trial, she is more and more entranced with the murder.

This story kept me captivated and I really liked the format. Shorter chapters kept me really interested, and I really liked her point of view. Little chapters show the beginning of the podcast which was really cool also. 4 stars for me!
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The Night Swim is incredibly well written and will keep you guessing - and on the edge of your seat - until the very last page. Journalist and podcaster Rachel Krall is convering a rape trial for the most recent season of her successful podcast - trying to determine what happened to as young woman named Kelly. While researching the case, she is contacted by Hannah, a young woman who believes her sister Jenny was murdered in the same small town 25 years earlier. As Rachel is pulled into both cases, she discovers the many secrets hidden in the small town and risks her own life to make sure that the truth comes out and justice is served - in Jenny's case and in Kelly's trial. With surprising twists and a relevant and compelling plot, The Night Swim is a must read. Fingers crossed for a sequel!
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Thank you to NetGalley for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. I didn’t want to put this down as each chapter moved between two tales of young girls who were raped and one murdered. The story walks through the search for justice for both even though they happened decades apart from one another. The author does such a great job of pulling the reader in and making you emotionally involved as the cases are traumatic and possibly triggering for some readers.  I would definitely read additional books by the author.
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good pace with developments stimulating more reading; satisfying conclusion although I thought Rachel might have given the nightingale to Bobby.. I would certainly read this author again! Thanks to St. Martin's and NetGalley for providing me an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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Wow! Just WOW! "The Night Swim" is probably the best book that I have read so far that comes out this summer! I knew within the first 25-30 pages that this was going to be a great book. Goldin expertly weaves the two narratives of the assaults that happened decades apart, drawing the reader in, making it so you just have to know what happened. I would highly recommend it.
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This book is not an easy read.  Rape is not a topic in many discussions or books.  But it happens more than is should be far.  This is a heavy book.   I did enjoy the author details in this book.  I enjoyed the author knowledge she gave for this type of cases in the legal system and how these trials can be played out.  Rapes 25 years apart, related?  I think this book was a good book.  I was drawn in right away by the story and wanted to see how it ended.  Rachel Krall is a good person, but she gets in the middle of something and tries to help.  How could it turn out? But then, the mysterious letters start showing up.  It had me reading more for sure. *This book was given to me for free at my request from NetGalley and I provided this voluntary review. *
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The main character, Rachel is a podcaster on her way to cover a court case in a small town involving a rape case. On her way there she receives a note from Hannah asking her to help solve her sister's murder that happened 25 years ago in this same town. Rachel is intrigued and works on both cases. The court room drama is suspenseful as well as Rachel's interviews with some of the key players within the case. Hannah's account of what happened years ago to her sister before she died keeps you turning the pages to find out more. These two cases are connected in some way. Your brain is searching for these connections, looking for clues. I truly enjoyed this book. The plot was solid and the characters were believable. I cannot believe I have not read The Escape Room by this author! I'm off to get that book right now.
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This was the first book I've read by Megan Goldin and I really enjoyed it!   I liked how part of the book was done as a podcast and it felt like the reader was actually  listening to it.  The author also did a great job weaving together 2 crimes that were 25 years apart.  I was kept guessing up to the end of who was responsible for the first crime.  A great story that i could envision being made into a movie!
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Jaw. On. The. Floor. 😲

Shortest Summary Ever: Rachel Krall is a podcast sensation covering a rape trial in a coastal NC town - the kind of trial that has the town fervently taking sides. As if that weren’t enough, Rachel finds a note on her windshield asking her to look into a decades-old murder. There are more and more notes. Someone is following her. Caught up in the trial, Rachel can’t help but be pulled to the murder. Could they be connected? What is happening in this sleepy little town and what mysteries lurk in the shadows?

I requested what I thought would be an average mystery and received MY FAVORITE BOOK OF THE YEAR (ok, so far). In the #metoo era it’s intriguing and refreshing to see a mystery - a genre that can be often dismissed as “not serious” - be so poignant and dead-on in research and the telling of sexual assault. Wow. This needs to be a movie. Someone call Reese Witherspoon. 

The viewpoint is mostly that of Rachel, a famous podcaster of a “guilty or innocent” show, a pastime I will admit I’ve never ventured into. It made for a unique viewpoint - a journalist, but one who operates behind the scenes. One who truly strives to stay impartial. 

But the best part of this is the rawness of the whole case. It is dead-on accurate. If you don’t know already you will understand intimately why women don’t report sexual assault, why they don’t follow through when they do report and why so few cases go to trial. 

All my reviews available at

Genre: Mystery/ContemporaryFaction

Recommend to: Everyone who loves mystery. This is THE ONE we need to talk about. 

Not recommended to: if sexual assault/rape issues are too much for you. 

Thank you to the author Megan Goldin , St. Martin’s Press, and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for my always-honest review and for wowing me and rocking my world during quarantine.
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The Night Swim is a really good read. I barely looked from the pages as I eagerly raced to the next chapter. Rachel comes to a beach town to cover a rape trial for her podcast. Only, she inadvertently investigates another case of a dead girl twenty five years earlier. A mystery fan keeps leaving her messages and notes. The narrative switches back and forth between Rachel and Hannah, the first victim's sister. I figured out part of the mystery early on, but the final piece was surprising. The author was very cunning with the final reveal. Goldin can write a great thriller.
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Thank you Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an ARC of this well written book. The review of 4.5 stars and comments are my honest opinion. This was a tough, extremely emotional book, and I would caution some readers who have experienced, or knows someone who has been raped, this book may bring back too many memories. 
It is centered on the rape of a 16 year old girl, a town hero and who is to be believed. 
Rachel Krall, well known for her podcasts has come to this small town to broadcast what she hopes to be the best of her three years of podcasts.
But what Rachel is drawn into, is not only the trial, but also an incident from twenty-five years ago that included rape and a death. This incident was never investigated because of the supposed ‘reputation’ of the victim. But someone is not content to let what happened continue to be ignored.
The more she investigates, Rachel realizes that the old “incident” has a lot to do with the present trial.
The one thing that I took from this story and that keeps coming back to me is “why is the person who has been raped required to prove and describe what happened to them, while the perpetrator does not even have to speak”. 
It is true, especially as written in this book, the victim is violated twice.
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The Night Swim is my first book by this author and I can honestly say that I loved it!!
I am a sucker for small town settings and when there’s a mystery to solve within a mystery, I’m a super happy camper.  And huge bonus points for the podcast in the book.
Rachel, who runs a very popular crime podcast, is in town to cover the upcoming rape trial for her third season.  While there, she gets drawn into a mysterious death of a young girl decades earlier.
I can’t even think of one thing that I didn’t like.  I read this one in 24hrs because I literally couldn’t put it down.  Both stories were engaging, captivating and evoked plenty of emotions, mainly how victims of sexual assault/rape are treated.  Keep in mind that this is not a fast paced thriller but more of a courtroom mystery.
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