When I saw that author Megan Goldin was publishing another book this summer I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Her 2019 novel The Escape Room was one of my favorite suspense reads last summer and I became an instant fan of her writing style. You can read my blog tour post featuring The Escape Room HERE.
After reading a lot of books in the oversaturated thriller genre, I have been let down way too many times to get super excited. Rarely is there a book in this genre that feels like a completely fresh perspective while also being completely captivating and moving. The Night Swim ended up having it all – mystery suspense, dual timelines, and a story pulled right from today’s headlines and it out in the world today!
Goldin introduces us to the main character Rachel Crall, who is a podcast investigative journalist. As someone who devours way too many true crime podcasts, this was right up my alley. Not only was this the perfect way to tie in the storylines but it was absolutely riveting.
Crall is following a modern-day sexual assault trial when she gets pulled into a crime from the past in this same small town. These interwoven themes and storylines worked perfectly together and the ending was both surprising and satisfying.
I loved that while this was a fast-paced ride there were so many thought-provoking moments. The moments of “gray” spoke to me so much and are just part of the many reasons why these cases are so complex.
I am so excited to feature a Question and Answer segment of this blog post with author Megan Goldin. It is always so interesting to hear the backstory to a novel and I hope you enjoy learning more about it too.
Q: Your previous novel, The Escape Room, was set in the world of Wall Street high stakes investment banking. How did you decide to set your next book in a seaside resort community?
A: For me, part of the pleasure of writing is to explore characters, places, issues and even writing styles. When I finished writing The Escape Room, I was interested in expanding my horizons as a writer rather than embarking on a new novel that would tread similar ground to The Escape Room. I’d been reading about several sexual assault cases going through the courts and I was interested in exploring some of the issues in my fiction. Not just about sexual assault itself but about the judicial process and the effects of it on families. As for my choice of location, my process is that I sit down and start writing, and let the story unravel in a very organic way. So when I started writing The Night Swim, the setting sort of chose itself!
Q: Rachel, the main character in The Night Swim, hosts a true-crime podcast. Are you a fan of those types of podcasts yourself? Why do you think they’re so popular these days?
A: I love podcasts and I listen to them often, while exercising, cooking, and driving. Of course among the podcasts that I enjoy most are true crime podcasts although I also enjoy history podcasts and current affairs podcasts as well. True crime podcasts are popular because people are fascinated by the dark side of human nature. Like many podcast listeners, I became a fan after listening to Serial. I quickly became addicted to other podcasts as well. The biggest problem right now with true crime podcasts, and podcasts in general, is that there are so many fantastic ones around. I wish I had more time to listen to them all.
Q: The Night Swim looks at how sexual assault victims who come forward often face an equally traumatic ordeal with the investigation and publicity. How did you portray this with sympathy and care, while still keeping the pages turning?
A: I tend to put myself in my character’s shoes when I write so I found it emotionally grueling to write some of the chapters related to sexual assault in The Night Swim. I felt an enormous obligation to be as accurate as possible about what sexual assault survivors and their families go through. So I did as much research as possible and wrote, rewrote, edited, and re-edited those scenes many times over. I did my very best to write it with the respect and sympathy that the subject matter deserves as it’s a truly harrowing trauma that affects people for the rest of their lives.
More About Author Megan Goldin…
Megan Goldin worked as a correspondent for Reuters and other media outlets where she covered war, peace, international terrorism, and financial meltdowns in the Middle East and Asia. She is now based in Melbourne, Australia where she raises three sons and is a foster mum to Labrador puppies learning to be guide dogs. The Escape Room was her debut novel.
Often books in the mystery/thriller genre are enjoyable escape reading but rarely stick with me long after I have finished them. Goldin’s ability to handle this topic with such an insightful manner made this a 5-star read for me. I highly recommend adding The Night Swim to your end of summer reading list!
Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the gifted copy and for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour. As always, all opinions are my own.
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. In addition, whenever possible, I will be including the LibroFM bookstore link alongside any other referral links. This allows you to purchase the book from your choice of independent bookstores.