Cover Image: The Night Swim

The Night Swim

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Member Reviews

This book was an incredibly intense ride from start to finish. The topic is timely and really hits on a lot of stories we have been seeing in the news for the last couple of years. It's equal parts heartbreaking, suspenseful, and thrilling. I love the true crime/courtroom element to the story. There are so many levels of injustice in rape cases due to the nature of rape culture and this book just laid them out. There are parts of this book that are hard to read owing to the subject matter but it will definitely stay with me for a long time. Highly recommend.
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I was happy to receive an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for a review. This was an interesting story about a true crime podcaster covering a rape case in North Carolina. On her way to cover the trial, the podcaster Rachel starts getting emails from a woman Hannah about an unsolved case involving her sister in the same area from a long time ago. The book weaves back and forth between the two cases. It’s well written, a fast page turner, and a perfect summer read.
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An effective true crime story about rape, an important topic that we absolutely do not discuss enough. Walks through the process of a rape trial, which will be eye-opening for many (particularly when it come to shedding light on why so few rapes are tried and why even fewer result in convictions), while wrestling with an investigation into a past injustice as well.

I thought this was a little too long, and the middle got a bit repetitive, but it was engaging and relevant.
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Another great book by Megan Goldin!!! I really enjoyed The Escape Room so I couldn’t wait to read this one as well.  My favorite thing about this book was the podcast element...any time a book has a podcast in it, I am immediately intrigued. The author did an amazing job of balancing the dual storylines and the podcast so that the reader was constantly wondering how everything would connect in the end. The characters were extremely well-written, making it easy to put myself in their minds and imagine what they were feeling and thinking. 

This was definitely a much darker read than The Escape Room so I would caution people to research the trigger warnings before picking it up. 

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
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I really enjoyed Megan Goldin's previous book, The Escape Room, and was very excited for this new book. In The Night Swim, we are introduced to Rachel Krall, the creator and host of an immensely popular true crime podcast. For the podcast's 3rd season, Rachel is covering a rape trial in small town North Carolina. I'm actually from a small coastal town in North Carolina, and aside from a few small things, Goldin was able to accurately depict a town like Neapolis quite well. I even enjoyed the few Aussie phrases sprinkled throughout. We don't talk like that here, but I thought it was cute. I was especially impressed with Goldin's firm grasp on the gossip, infighting, and small mindedness of some small southern towns. I wouldn't classify this book as a thriller. It's definitely suspenseful, but most of the actual mystery took place 25 years ago. I didn't feel that the pace was a problem at all, I was interested enough to keep turning pages. I had a vague idea about how the main mystery would be resolved and I was very close to correct. That didn't detract from my enjoyment. Both the past mystery and the present trial were well done. I wouldn't mind reading another book featuring Rachel and the Guilty or Not Guilty podcast. I'm sure The Night Swim would also be great in audio. 
4 stars

I was provided a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Thank you to St. Martin's Press and Netgalley.
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I was so looking forward to this book because I really enjoyed The Escape Room.

Unfortunately, right off the bat, the use of the true crime podcast format felt gimmicky and ham-fisted. Has the author ever actually listened to a true crime podcast? It didn’t seem like it… 

The narrator also comes off as full of herself and not particularly likeable. For example (and forgive me for the long quote): “While Rachel waited for the court session to start, she checked her messages. There was a text from Dave, an old boyfriend, telling her he’d be in Philadelphia the following week for work. He asked if she was free to meet for dinner. Rachel found it charming that Dave didn’t listen to the podcast and had no idea that she was away covering the Scott Blair trial. She responded asking for a rain check. There were several other texts from close friends telling Rachel how much they loved the new season.” Why is it charming that he doesn’t know she does a podcast? Why do we care that your friends loooooove the new season? I feel like something similar probably happened to the author, like maybe some friends wrote her about her previous novel (or maybe they didn't and she wished they had!) and so she stuck it in, but these sorts of random comments happen more than once and just take you right out of the story.

As for the content itself, there was so much that was problematic about the portrayal of rape culture in this book. It's basically SJW porn for man-haters. It stayed superficial and didn’t delve into any of the potentially rich and important themes that could have been developed. Instead, it’s just incessant moralizing interspersed with scenes of gratuitous violent that really gets old after the first part.

Rape is terrible, no one is saying anything to the contrary, but there are also many moments questioning the validity of the judicial process and the value of testimony that didn’t sit well with me. It's clear that the court system can be flawed and that injustices do happen, but as Goldin rattles on about how bad it is, it turns into an opinion piece masquerading as a novel. No one is denying that testifying in front of your rapist would be traumatizing and soul-crushing, but considering that false rape claims do occur, there is a reason that criminals are innocent until proven guilty. There are entire sections devoted to deconstructing this idea in the novel without offering any solutions. Normally I wouldn't care, but since the author chose to try and capitalize on the podcast format etc., why didn't she propose an alternative since her narrator seems to have so many opinions.

I don’t think that I’ll be reading anything else by this author. To be honest, I’d rather get my editorializing from a newspaper.
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Thank you to Netgalley, the author, and the publisher for my chance to read and review early.

This is the first thriller in quite some time that I have actually liked.  The podcast aspect was timely and fun to read about.  The legal procedural part of the book was very well done, and those can be hit or miss for me.

I'm going to pick up Megan's first book since I liked this one so well.
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I was given this book in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley. Thank you for the book. 

I was slightly bored for this book it was very slow to start and I was really excited about this book too. It did have a good mystery and had me guessing but almost nothing happens in the first 30-40 percent of the book.
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A must-read for true-crime podcast lovers! Well-paced, intriguing characters, procedural crime to follow and ruminate on, and set up for a sequel! 

Strengths: pacing, suspense, setting (world-building), podcast conceit, reflections on the justice system and the concept and ramifications of "guilty" and "not guilty" 

Weaknesses: would love to have more background on the main character (Rachel) - however, the ending is set up for a sequel that could explore this character further
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"The Night Swim",  by Megan Goldin, is a thrilling and captivating mystery! Rachel is the well-known voice of a popular true crime podcast. While traveling to a small, coastal North Carolina town to report on a rape case that has dividing the town's residents, Rachel is approached by a resident. Hannah has been haunted by the supposed suicide of her sister 25 years ago. But why was her sister's death swept under the rug? And how will the present-day rape trial conclude? This novel quickly got my attention and held onto it. I would highly recommend this book!

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. All opinions are my own.
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Rachel, the host of a very popular crime podcast, finds herself in the beach town of Neapolis to cover a rape trial for her upcoming season. However, one of her listeners, Hannah, knows she's in town and asks for help looking into the death of her sister years earlier. Rachel simultaneously researches and covers the trial for her podcast while trying to solve a decades-old mystery in a small town, bringing her deeper into local secrets.

I really found myself enjoying this book, even though the subject matter is very heavy and serious. With similarities to the Stanford rape trial, there are uncomfortable moments with an undercurrent of a terrifying reality throughout the story. I found myself wrapped up in both the trial and the mystery of what happened to Hannah's sister years ago. Overall, I enjoyed this mystery, even with an intense subject matter (rape, assault, etc).
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I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect about this book going in. But wow was it good! In the very beginning there’s several pages that every woman can relate to. I think that’s a lot about this book that women can relate to. Men usually hold the power. They’re bigger they’re stronger and they tend to feel superior. This book can be a bit triggering as it’s about rape. But it was an excellent story. I loved the different points of view. Hearing Hannah talk about her childhood and what she remembered about her sister as she’s asking for help from Rachel to get to the bottom of her sisters murder. It was a troubling story Hannah had to tell. She was young and she knew a lot about what happened to her sister but was unable to do anything then. Now she had a chance to get justice for her sister 25 years later. Also during this time you go through Rachel’s journey of covering a young girls rape trial. Both were so emotional.  And it’s interesting how these two stories collide. This was a fantastic book. It was well written. I was intrigued the entire time & wanted to get to the bottom of both stories and needed to know how their stories end.
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Trigger warning for graphic rape scenes.

Podcast host Rachel Krall is trying to keep her true crime podcast “Guilty or Not Guilty” fresh and her large audience involved and entertained. She heads to small town North Carolina to cover a rape trial she plans to incorporate into her podcasts. While in Neapolis she begins receiving notes from a woman claiming her sister was murdered over twenty years before in the same town. Rachel is unnerved by the notes but also curious to find answers for the woman convinced her sister did not die in a swimming accident.

I was drawn into this novel and enjoyed the podcast chapters intermixed with Rachel and Hannah’s chapters. This is not a thriller as advertised. Instead it is a book about a rape trial in the present with eerie similarities to a rape and murder in the past. It showcases how defenseless the victims become when golden boys are the perpetrators. How rumours spread and towns choose sides and how money and power can change the course of a trial. Decades go by but the onus remains on rape victims to prove their innocence for justice to be served.

I liked this author’s voice and look forward to reading more of her books in the future.

3.5 stars

ARC received with thanks from publisher via NetGalley for review.
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Well written story. Kept me engaged the entire time. A page turner for sure! Looking forward to reading more books by this author!
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The Night Swim is slow burn mystery novel. It is about two rapes that had taken place 25 years apart. The author handled the topics very careful and sensitive. Some parts of the book take place at a courtroom. The book has different POVS and presents different timelines which gives the reader more insight. The author is descriptive with the rape trial, jury dynamics, and victim shaming. The rape culture is all over this book and if sexual assault triggers you, this is not a the book for you. It is a heavy and intense psychological read. I was completely captivated and appalled all at the same time. I was pleased by the ending and would recommend this book for those who like psychological mysterious.

Review will be posted on

Will be back to post on amazon and Barnes &  Noble
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I really enjoyed this book. It captured my attention from the very first page and I don't think I have ever read from a viewpoint of a podcast journalist. It was very interesting and different from all the other thrillers I have been reading lately. I grew to really like Rachel and although I grew to become suspicious of Hannah throughout the book, I think it was intended by the author for the reader to feel that way towards her. After reading this one, I want to go back and read The Escape Room by her soon!
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The Night Swim by Megan Goldin 

The author writes parallel stories of two rapes twenty five years apart in a small North Carolina town. The protagonist Rachel, who gets caught up in both stories, is a podcaster of a show called “Guilty or not Guilty,” which follows trials of interest. 

While following the trial of “K” and the accused, accomplished swimmer Scott Blair, Rachel is pulled into the story of another rape and murder by a mysterious Hannah, who leaves Rachel notes seemingly everywhere she goes. 

Megan Goldin writes a fine mystery which had me scratching my head until the end. These parallel stories will keep your interest throughout with a believable, yet unpredictable finale. 

My thanks to #StMartinsPress and #NetGalley for an ARC for my review.
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4.5 stars! 

Sincerest thanks to NetGalley, Megan Goldin, and St. Martin's Press for giving me this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book is SO awesome! I've never read anything by this author, but I absolutely loved this book.

The narration is so unique -- we get to hear Rachel's (the podcaster) point of view, her podcast episodes, and Hannah's (a girl who grew up in the small town) point of view through letters she's sent Rachel.

I loved how creative this set up was, and the stories (both Hannah's sister's story from 25 years ago and the present time rape trial that Rachel is covering on her podcast) were well thought out and intriguing.

Would definitely recommend this book, and would for sure read it again!
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This book was good! It covered the trial of a rape but did not go into graphic details of the event. This was a nice change since most books detail the crime graphically for shock value. This was a good thriller, but I would classify it as a legal thriller since most of the book took place in the courtroom. I did guess who the perpetrator was early on, but it did not affect my rating of the book. I would recommend this book for thriller lovers!
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First of all, I loved how this books premise was based on a podcaster in the true crime genre. This was so relevant to the times we are living in, since that genre is so popular with people. The Night Swim isn’t easy to read. Goldin spends a good deal of time examining how a rape trial plays out in the courtroom, including jury games and victim shaming. The rapes of two female characters are also shared. It is heavy, dark, and emotional to read. There were several times that I had to put this book down to take a mental health break. At the same time, I was completely captivated and appalled by Jenny and Kelly’s stories. Goldin handles the harsh topic of rape with sensitivity and honesty.
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