I took part in Buzzword -thon – Round Six, hosted by BooksandLala on her Youtube channel. The word was ” Night” and this is the only book I managed to finish, with project deadlines and some life admin work that was weighing on me for months . But, as long as I picked up a book and enjoyed it, I should be content right? so YAYY to me!
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.
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?
There are two similar cases that have happened in the same town that are 25 years apart. But one case is all covered up and nobody cares about it. The current case, they question the victim’s statements. This rings quite close to reality and that alone struck a chord with me, making this book a good read hardly a few pages into it. Needless to say, this was a captivating book especially with the themes it manages to cover. We get to see the public’s mindset towards such cases, and how crimes done by people of power is treated.
“When school kids are shot by a random shooter, nobody asks whether the victims should have taken more precautions. Nobody suggests that maybe the victims should have skipped school that day. Nobody ever blames the victims. So why is it that when women are attacked, the onus is on them? “If only she hadn’t walked home alone.” “If only she hadn’t cut through the park.” “If only she’d taken a cab.” When it comes to rape, it seems to me “if only” is used all the time. Never about the man. Nobody ever says “if only” he hadn’t raped her. It’s always about the woman. If only …”– The Night Swim. Megan Goldin
Another aspect that was done brilliantly is the media trials, in this case the popular podcast – Guilty or Not Guilty run by Rachael , puts the people in the jury box and let’s them decide. I can see how this can go wrong in so many ways if not done properly and what kind of impact these trials have on the public. Especially when it is related to a crime. Rachael tries to show both sides though and even yet people have already made up their mind about the case.
“To tell you the truth, I don’t get how we can almost unanimously agree that murder is wrong, yet when it comes to rape some people still see shades of gray.”= The Night Swim, Megan Goldin
This book indeed took me by surprise, as all I expected was some small town thriller story where everyone knows each other and the town has some secrets of it’s own. Well, it does have all of this but it definitely adds on with a lot of insight on rape. I personally love court trial settings in thriller stories and this one definitely did it really well. Even the little details of how the defense lawyer uses this particular tactics to win the jury was quite impressive.
RATING : 4.0/5.0
Overall, I enjoyed this book. Some of the commentary on women safety is very powerful, and takes through a horrifying process that a rape victim goes through. With respect to the mystery aspect it did keep me guessing and the end was pretty satisfactory and realistic. I personally enjoyed Hannah’s chapters less, as it was about a 25 year old case which is similar but felt less thrilling than the chapters where Rachael was talking about the current case.
Rape is the main trigger warning for this story and you would want to consider reading this as it talks a lot in detail about the horrific account of what happens during and after the crime takes place.
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Mystery/ Thriller
Published on : August 4th 2020