The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

Publication Info: Expected publication date August 4th 2020, by St. Martin’s Press. I read the Kindle pre-pub edition courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher.

Summary: In the small seaside town of Neapolis, a young man is on trial for the rape of a teenage girl. Scott Blair is Neapolis’ athlete-hero, with a college scholarship and a good shot at a place on the Olympic swim team. His defense team presents multiple character witnesses who attest to Scott’s upstanding community spirit.

The underage teenage girl, known as K, only has her testimony and the report from a rape kit. It is a classic case of he said/she said. The victim desperately needs a witness to support her accusation.

Among the reporters at this trial, is Rachel Krall, a well-known true crime podcaster. After several seasons of covering past trials, Rachel is reporting on the case in Neapolis at the end of each day. Rachel is also receiving mysterious handwritten notes and emails from a woman named Hannah. The notes implore her to look into the death of her sister. Many years ago, Jenny was a teenager when she died in Neapolis, a supposed drowning victim. Her sister, Hannah, insists that Jenny was murdered. Intrigued by the amount of detail in the notes, Rachel is pulled into investigating Jenny’s death while reporting on the contentious rape trial.

Comments: In The Night Swim, Megan Goldin does an amazing job of conveying the emotional devastation of rape and the rule of good old boy culture in a small town. In painful detail, the author describes what a female goes through in a rape trial. In describing the violation of the victim after the rape and not dwelling on the intimate details of the act itself, the author empathically describes how the court treats sex-crime victims.

I thought that the primary voices in the book, both the podcaster and the letter writer, were the perfect means to differentiate the cases. The formats also allowed the reader to develop deep compassion for K and Hannah.

Very highly recommended for fiction readers of courtroom dramas, legal fiction and women’s issues.

My Rating: 5 Stars

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