Wednesday, August 12, 2020

The Night Swim - by Megan Goldin

©Megan Goldin
Available Now→Here!
🎧Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I will consider myself lucky, scratch that, thankful if I never experience the cruelties the women of "The Night Swim," and sadly many others, have had to endure.

This book was an astonishing eye-opener for so many, including myself. I have never been raped, nor do I know anyone who has. I'd heard of the infamous Me Too movement and had seen Law & Order: SVU, but I was utterly unprepared for Goldin's written narrative - to say it was powerful would be an understatement.

"Sometimes a man has to speak up or be responsible for the repercussions of his silence" - Rachel Krall, chapter 48 of "The Night Swim" by Megan Goldin. This quote speaks volumes towards the #metoo movement, paying homage to victims of sexual abuse everywhere.

I was fortunate to have listened to this audiobook, and I say that because this particular writing style was brought to life in audio format. "The Night Swim" follows Rachel Krall, a true-crime podcaster seeking justice for those who've all but lost hope. This time around, she's putting the reader, or rather the listener, in the proverbial jury box with season three of "Guilty or Not Guilty." Every time a chapter dedicated to a podcast episode came up, my ears perked with anticipation; it felt like I was actually listening to a podcast. The special effect sounds queuing the beginning and end of an episode along with that narrator's tone were spot-on. Macmillan Audio went all out, and I'd highly recommend snagging a copy of the audio version.

The novel was so much more than a thriller, it was an unputdownable tale highlighting the injustices surrounding rape culture. As the story's main character, Rachel, travels to the small town of Neapolis, following a local rape trial, where the accused is a widely known swim champ, she begins receiving mysterious correspondences. Simultaneously, Hannah contacts Rachel as her last hope at seeking justice for her murdered sister from the very same town years before. Of course, Rachel's interest is peaked, but when she starts seeking answers, she receives dead-end after dead-end, everyone claims her death was an accident and that Jenny Stills held the reputation of town slut.

This story is one that will stay with me for a long time. The concurrent unraveling between Rachel's podcasted trial and Hannah's backstory retelling of hers and Jenny's life was absolutely breathtaking. I was rooting so hard for the victims, crying at times in sadness, anger, and resolution. I had debated rating 4.5 stars because the ending wasn't all that shocking, but I settled on 5 stars because Goldin's writing was absolutely incredible.

Thank you to @NetGalley, the publishers at @MacmillanAudio, @StMartinsPress, and the author @MeganGoldinAuthor for providing me with a complimentary copy of this title in exchange for my honest review. This book moved me so much I decided to pick up a physical copy as well, it is now a part of my Book of the Month collection. I'd also like to say that "The Night Swim" has inspired me to pick up others like it, and I hope to be able to read them soon.

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Book Blurb:
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?

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About the author, Megan Goldin:

Megan Goldin is the author of The Escape Room, a 2019 thriller that Lee Child called "one of my favorite books of the year" and Harlan Coben called "thrilling and unforgettable". Megan's new novel The Night Swim was released in August 4, 2020. Before becoming a novelist, Megan worked as a reporter covering the Middle East and Asia for the Reuters news agency, the Associate Press and the ABC as well as other news outlets.

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