Today’s theme is a mix of thrillers, podcast fiction & #MeToo come-uppance. Be sure to check out the posts on Denise Mina (Conviction) and Julie Clark (The Last Flight) too.
I hope you had a chance to visit with Megan Goldin today at The Romance of Reading page, but even more, I hope you’ll pick up her fabulous book, THE NIGHT SWIM.
True crime podcaster Rachel Krall is in small town North Carolina to track a trial that’s pitting the local golden boy against the girl who’s had the audacity to cry rape and risk his berth on the Olympic team. It’s a “he said/she said situation,” made more complicated by the hard ball tactics his defense team is taking against her.
Meanwhile, a mysterious figure is leaving notes and other bread crumbs around town for Rachel, asking her to look into another death, possibly tied to another sexual assault, that happened twenty-five years ago.
As Rachel digs deeper into both cases, it becomes clear that in some ways, things never change where charges of rape are concerned. Women will always bear the brunt of the stigma of rape, and communities will always be divided when it happens. Defense attorneys will always question the motives and truthfulness of women who accuse men of rape, and their attacks on the victims will always be another horrible violation of the women’s dignity.
Goldin does a fabulous job of creating the scene of both the current trial and the past crime, told through the eyes of the past victim’s sister. And the deeper she dives into both cases, the more she realizes there might be some very important connections.
This book is so good! Compelling and fascinating and certainly heart-wrenching, not to mention brilliantly crafted. (I listened to the book, which added a different dimension to the story, especially in the podcast sections.)
It’s also a good reminder that while justice doesn’t always come, sometimes it does.
And those times can be quite gratifying.
THE NIGHT SWIM
In 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?
(This review is part of Read-A-Romance Month. Hope you’ll come back every day to check out my book recommendations. You can find the calendar here. Also check out The Romance of Reading, a Facebook “book club” where we’ll have great authors guest hosting every week.)
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