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The Night Swim

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Member Reviews

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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I received a copy of THE NIGHT SWIM on NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Thank you to the author and publisher for this opportunity.

FIVE stars and here’s why:

Megan Goldin kept me reading all night long! I’m a sucker for stories with plot twists where I can’t figure out the ending. And Goldin did a fantastic job of weaving in the podcast cold cases and a trial that occurred in the present. If you love suspense stories that will keep you up all night long, excellent writing, and characters that stick around long after you finish reading the book, then this one is for you. I read it in one day wanting to see what happened next. Highly recommend!
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After the first season of her true crime podcast helped set an innocent man free, Rachel became famous for her voice.  When she heads to small-town Neapolis for the next season of her podcast, she’s shocked to find a note on her car from a listener who wants help solving her sister’s rape and murder.  She’s not used to being recognized. 
Hannah hasn’t been able to let go of the unsolved case from decades prior and knows that Rachel can make it happen.  Told through the POVs of Hannah and Rachel, and Rachel’s podcast, the novel tells the alternate stories of the past and the current case that Rachel is covering. 1

This book was so well done.  I didn’t expect to enjoy this as much as I did.  It was gritty, telling two different stories that both focused on rape.  It’s a subject I can’t think about without being infuriated.  I also found myself comparing this book to Beartown, a novel I loved.  I loved Rachel, and I found myself wishing her podcast was real and that I could listen to it.  I had a hard time putting this book down, not wanting to break the spell. 
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Writing within a novel is very hard to accomplish. Either it’s impossible to tell apart the real-life author from the writer character, or the fictional texts are so inferior to the novel that it’s distracting. Megan Goldin accomplishes the impossible by integrating both seamlessly. Rachel has a famous podcast, which we get to read as she records the episodes. For her third season, she gives up murder trials for something more controversial: rape. As with most cases, it’s hard to tell from just the evidence whether the sex was consensual, so it is a case of “he said/she said.” Rachel-the character does a great job of staying neutral (the guy could be getting railroaded), even if Goldin- the author (it’s easy to forget that they are really the same person) expresses a particular opinion by showing us Rachel’s real thoughts. And if this balancing act was not enough, what seems like a side plot becomes more and more important: a cold case that Rachel learns about by a series of mysterious letters. It also involves a potential rape, and maybe even a murder. This is the part that I had the most issues with, as there are some plot holes, but the twists were unpredictable enough to make the read satisfying. The best part, in my opinion, is the characters. Some are not as rounded as others, but Rachel alone is so real that in the end the line between fictitious character and real-life podcaster was blurred.  
I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thank you, NetGalley/ St. Martin's Press!
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Rachel's true crime podcast has flourished on cold cases, but now she's changing gears and covering a trial as it happens. The quaint town of Neapolis is being torn apart by the rape accusations against a star athlete and Rachel intends to feed her audience every clue, every twist, every scrap of testimony as it happens. She gets slightly sidetracked by a series of letters from the elusive Hannah about another Neapolis girl, one who died twenty-five years ago: her sister Jenny. Rachel juggles both investigations, uncovering sickening parallels that indicate pervasive misogyny or something darker. Brutal, but gripping.
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This was a really good dual investigation. A podcaster following a recent rape trial in a small beach town and another rape that happened 25 years ago.  Really liked how they were tied together. This from the author who write at The Escape Room last year. I really enjoyed this one more. 
Thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for the ARC
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This book was kinda "meh" for me. I usually enjoy thrillers and while I appreciated the unique format it was written in, I disliked the flow of the entire novel. It seemed choppy at times which attributed to me putting it down several times. I was at first conflicted in giving this novel three stars as I had high hopes for it and really enjoyed the plot and main character. I wish more of Rachel's backstory would have been revealed as she was researching the case in the book however, I loved the details in Jenny Stills story. The details of her case haunted me for a while after reading it.
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This is a timely mystery/suspense story of Rachel, a true-crime podcaster, and the focus of her latest series, a rape trial in an insular town. Neapolis' golden boy, Scott Blair, is wealthy, good-looking, and has hopes of one day being an Olympic swimmer. He is accused of raping a high school girl, K, and the town is deeply divided about who is to blame.

Rachel has also been getting mysterious notes left for her from Hannah, a girl whose sister was raped and drowned 25 years before in the same town. In each note, Hannah relives more of her memories of that night and pleads for help in getting information that could reopen the case as a murder, rather than accidental death. So now, Rachel has two stories to wade through, peeling back the layers of protection that have been covering the whole truth.

I had a hard time putting this book down (and finished in less than two days). The characters were interesting, the pace was quick, and the ending was satisfying (and more than a little sad). 

My thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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“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 slow burn crime mystery read that explores two rape cases that occurred in the same town 25 years apart. This book slides back and forth between the perspective of Rachel, a podcast host, who is covering the present rape case, and letters from Hannah who is the sister of the covered up rape case that happened 25 years prior.  While the mystery of the past did have me stumped for awhile, since it takes a bit to even get to any obvious clues, once it’s revealed it all feels pretty, duh. I mean, of course this is how it happened. Anyway. I will say that this reads a bit like a horror novel in the way that when I read the victims stories, I personally was like “no, don’t do that. Don’t go there. Don’t leave the group of people.” And it sort of feels like, shouldn’t I be saying to the rapists, “don’t rape her! Be a good person. Don’t be the human embodiment of trash!” It really made me think that even I as someone who always wants to be on the side of the victim was sort of thinking like she should protect herself. I don’t know, it was just interesting how my mind has been groomed that anyone and everyone can be bad, protect yourself.  I think that this book does a good job expressing how rape victims can be and often are mistreated by the public and the legal system. I think it also does a good job showing the dichotomy of higher and lower social standing and how that influences perception and even sometimes the law when it comes to cases like these. I think the author handles these fictional cases with care and this is a thoughtful exploration of rape culture in America overall. I do think that some content is extreme, but it also gives you that poetic “is anyone good?” feeling.  I will say that the writing is a bit slow for my taste. It doesn’t pick up for awhile. Also the details of sexual assault and rape, while impactful, did make me uncomfortable. And it made me feel uncomfortable because they are a reality. I say this as a warning to anyone who feels they may be triggered by explorations of these topics. Even the fact that the victims are blamed and their honesty is called into question. It’s hard to read at points, but it’s the reality of rape victims.  All in all a good read. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a slow building mystery. One that focuses more heavily on the topics being covered and the characters who are impacted by them.
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I really loved this book! Megan Goldin struck gold with this fast paced plot that sucked me in and kept me guessing right until the very end.  I am a big fan of the main character Rachel being a true crime podcaster covering a trial that vaguely reminded me of Know My Name. This quick moving storyline alternated between narrators, Rachel and Hannah, that covered two different crimes that happened in a small town about 25 years apart. I did find the subterfuge of Hannah's character made her a little annoying at times. It felt like she was dragging things out and playing a game with Rachel. If you enjoyed Goldin's previous novel, The Escape Room, you need to pick up The Night Swim!
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I love true-crime podcasts and suspense novels. The Night Swim perfectly combined these two worlds that I love into one piece of work and tied it all together with a pretty ribbon...

In the Night Swim, Megan Goldin creatively brings together two crimes that happen 25 years apart. I loved the way the narrator told the story, and the only times we got first-person accounts were in Hannah's letters and in Rachel's podcast recordings. This would have been a great one to listen to on audio.

The idea of two crimes in the same small town being tied together was well-thought-out and revealed in a great way. Until the final reveal, I was making predictions left and right, but my initial gut reaction was correct.
When the book ended I was satisfied, relieved, and happy with the final outcome.
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The Night Swim was a great novel to introduce me to it’s author, Megan Goldin. Though not her first novel, it was the first one read by me and I now look forward to her previous novel, The Escape Room! 

The Night Swim peaked my interest from the beginning and kept me turning pages through the night! I enjoyed the way the novel was written in perspectives from both Rachel Krall and Hannah Stills. Rachel Krall, the host for the podcast, Guilty or Not Guilty has traveled to cover a high profile rape trial. Her podcast episodes are alternating chapters in the novel and were my favorite to read. 

Hannah Stills intentionally crosses Rachel’s path, leaving her letters in search of help to solve her sister, Jenny Stills’ 25 year old rape and alleged drowning death in the same town. Hannah has always suspected her sister was murdered and believes Rachel is the one who can help her solve the 25 year old mystery. 

I found the character development to be well done, so much so that I would love to see follow up novels with the character, Rachel Krall and her podcast. It would be nice to even see a reappearance of the man she kisses on the cheek in the end! 

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the digital ARC of Megan Goldin’s latest novel, The Night Swim.
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I really enjoyed this book! I was hooked from the beginning. I liked the alternating points of view and the two story lines at the same time. I really liked the concept of the book- a podcaster bringing light to true crime cases. I love podcasts and true crime so this was right up my alley. I would love it if this became a series. I really enjoyed Rachel. Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.
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I am a sucker for true crime - and I love podcasts.

The 2 stories that are expertly woven together are the heart of this story.
It is a very hard subject to handle, but I felt that it was handled very well.

The court room scenes were done well - the drama and dialogue of real trials was felt throughout.
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Night Swim is a mystery/thriller about a crime podcast host investigating a rape trial that led into the unraveling of another crime from many years prior. While both cases played out simultaneously, they were both filled with twists that kept you guessing! The only reason i didn't give a 5 star was because the two stories were so similar that the characters/plot was confusing to keep up with at times, but i still really enjoyed this book and definitely did not see the ending coming.
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A true crime podcaster seeks to find out the truth about what happened in a current day rape case that parallels a similar case that occurred in the same small town 20 years prior in this gem of a psychological suspense by Megan Goldin. Intrigue, mystery and suspense abound with well-drawn characters and pages that practically turn themselves it was so good. Goldin is a standout writer in this genre and I recommend her all fans of psychological fiction.
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2 rapes, 1 town, 25 years apart. A great read, plenty of twists and turns.  Leaves you with a lot of leftover feelings long after you have finished the book. A great read with great characters and very realistic feelings.  Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this advance copy.
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Rachel, the voice behind her popular true crime podcasts, is preparing herself for a rape trial in the town of Neapolis. She plans on doing some interviews and sitting in on the trial to provide the details to her audience so they feel as though they're in a juror's seat. The townspeople of Neapolis couldn't be more divided on their opinions of what happened. How could the popular young man, who has been working his butt off to get into the Olympics, be capable of rape? Especially since he could have relations with pretty much anyone he asked. But then there's the alleged victim of the rape. How is it fair for people to not take her side of the story into account? Rachel tries her best to present both sides of the trial as an impartial observer. 

While this is all going on, Rachel begins receiving messages from Hannah, who insists that her sister's murder 25 years ago was covered up. She provides bits and pieces of information about her sister Jenny to Rachel. Given Rachel's inquisitive and investigative mind, she can't ignore what Hannah has said. Through the trial and recordings of her podcast, Rachel decides she's going to take what Hannah is saying seriously. Will Rachel be able to get to the bottom of what happened to Jenny?

This was the first book I've read from this author and I really enjoyed it. While the subject matter was dark, as a reader I found that I wanted to know what both outcomes of the stories would be - the rape trial and Jenny's death. I felt engaged and didn't want to put this down. I'd definitely be interested in checking out more from this author.
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I thoroughly enjoyed The Night Swim, both in its artful storytelling and commentary on the way rape culture has infected our society. Although some of the big reveals and mysterious elements of this novel were quite predictable for seasoned thriller-readers, I still feel that this was an exemplary read. The non-biased perspective of Rachel, our main character and the producer of a crime podcast, added a grounding element to the story. Her voice, both in the chapters from her perspective and the podcast chapters, sought justice and spoke volumes beyond the storyline. One of the most important sentiments of the podcast chapters was Rachel's confusion as to why murder can be seen as objectively bad, but rape is muddled in shades of gray. Overall, this book takes a nuanced and important view on rape culture, our justice system and much more, all behind the guise of a well-written fictional mystery. The enthralling nature of the story certainly makes the content more digestible, and I hope this novel can help open readers' minds to the sexism that pervades every inch of our society.
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I love true crime podcasts so I really enjoyed tying that into this storyline. Two rapes 25 years apart and somehow connected really pulled me in and kept me turning the pages although this wasn't really a thriller more of a serious, emotional read since dealing with the topic of rape. She brought up the hard conversations like the shaming and suffering of the girls as well as the "golden boy" attitude America has towards rapist.
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