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.
A small town in North Carolina is the centerpiece of The Night Swim, focused on a current rape trial and a possible murder twenty-five years before.
As the story sweeps back and forth in time, we are led along by Rachel’s narrative, Hannah’s mysterious letters, and bits of Rachel’s podcast as she documents the current trial.
It doesn’t take long to see that many characters are interwoven into both stories, reminding us that the past can follow us into the present, as the secrets and crimes are untangled and revealed.
With an intensity that is enhanced by the short chapters and the fast pace, I sometimes felt confused by how many similarities existed between the separate events. Were these facts coincidental, or were many of the players repeating their bad behavior in the present?
One thing I’ve learned about small town life is how desperately the people depend on friends, and even enemies over whom they have leverage, and as a result, they sometimes escape justice. 5 stars.
***My e-ARC came from the publisher via NetGalley