A thriller for those who eat, sleep, and breathe true crime: A podcaster cracks open a small-town cold case.
Good to know
After the first season of her true crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall is now a household name?and the last hope for thousands of 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 small town of Neapolis is being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. The town’s golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping a high school student, the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season Three a success, Rachel throws herself into interviewing and investigating?but the mysterious letters keep showing up in unexpected places. 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 insists she was murdered?and when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody seems to want to answer. The past and present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases that will change the course of the trial and the lives of everyone involved.
The Night Swim
It was Jenny’s death that killed my mother. Killed her as good as if she’d been shot in the chest with a twelve-gauge shotgun. The doctor said it was the cancer. But I saw the will to live drain out of her the moment the policeman knocked on our screen door.
“It’s Jenny, isn’t it?” Mom rasped, clutching the lapel of her faded dressing gown.
“Ma’am, I don’t know how to tell you other than to say it straight.” The policeman spoke in the low-pitched melancholic tone he’d used moments earlier when he’d pulled up and told me to wait in the patrol car as its siren lights painted our house streaks of red and blue.
Despite his request, I’d slipped out of the back seat and rushed to Mom’s side as she turned on the front porch light and stepped onto the stoop, dazed from being woken late at night. I hugged her withered waist as he told her what he had to say. Her body shuddered at each word.
His jaw was tight under strawberry blond stubble and his light eyes were watery by the time he was done. He was a young cop. Visibly inexperienced in dealing with tragedy. He ran his knuckles across the corners of his glistening eyes and swallowed hard.
“I’m s-s-sorry for your loss, ma’am,” he stammered when there was nothing left to say. The finality of those words would reverberate through the years that followed.
But at that moment, as the platitudes still hung in the air, we stood on the stoop, staring at each other, uncertain what to do as we contemplated the etiquette of death.
Why I love it
Author, The Golden Couple
I spend far too much time on screens, so when I was emailed an electronic copy of The Night Swim, I requested a paper copy to read instead. But by the time the novel landed in my mailbox—just a couple of days later—I'd already devoured the entire book, reading late into the night on my laptop.
The book is that good. No, it's that great.
The Night Swim weaves together the stories of two vicious crimes against young women: one woman who is accusing a star athlete of rape, and one woman whose bruised body was pulled from the ocean 20 years ago. Rachel Krall, host of the popular true crime podcast “Guilty or Not Guilty,” heads to the small town of Neapolis to cover the rape trial. But when she begins receiving letters from Hannah, the sister of the supposedly drowned girl, Rachel finds herself pulled into that old, unsolved mystery. As the dual narratives unspool, twisting like a double helix, they intersect in ingenious ways.
A blistering plot and crisp writing make The Night Swim an unputdownable read. But even more than that, it's the unflinching look at what sexual assault does to a young woman that makes this a vitally important book.
Member ratings (39,571)
???????????????? ???? ????????????????????: -How two seemingly separate plots diverged into one. -Getting chapters that were solely the podcast episode - it helped move the plot along in an interesting way -Great twist!
Medford , OR
The author did a great job at switching the narrative between Rachel, Hannah & the podcast all while connecting two rape cases with more than 25 years between them. Heavy read but so good. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
San Tan Valley, AZ
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The book hooked me right away! The author did a great job describing the events without adding unnecessary details that makes the reader feel sick. It brought so many emotions at the end.
Cedar Grove, WI
I really enjoyed this book, though I was able to see a lot of the twists coming. I found the changing views very pleasing to read and thought the author did well portraying rape culture.⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/5 An amaizng but difficult read. The way the story looks at rape, rape culture & victim blaming was masterful. I listened to the audiobook & it was fantastic. The podcast element was great!