Book Club Questions for The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

by Heather Caliendo
book club questions the night swim - book club chat
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Book club questions for The Night Swim by Megan Goldin takes a closer look at this crime thriller. There will be spoilers so if you haven’t read the book yet, check out my spoiler-free review first

Megan’s novel last year, The Escape Room, is also an intense read. But she takes it to another level with The Night Swim. While I explain this much more in my review, I did feel overall this is a hard read. What did you all think about it? Let me know!

The synopsis 

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.

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?

Book Club Questions for The Night Swim

  • What did you think about the author’s decision to feature a “behind the scenes” look at a true crime podcast? Do you listen to true crime media (podcasts, shows, documentaries)? Do you think they do help to solve cases at times?
  • Rachel’s previous seasons had focused on past cases but this season is the first time she followed a trial as it’s happening. Why do you think that Rachel chose the Blair trial for season three? 
  • On her way into town, Rachel receives a letter from Hannah, a woman who believes that her sister was murdered 25 years ago. While her producer Pete tells her to ignore it, Rachel decides to investigate it the same time as she covers the trial. Why do you think Rachel was so insistent on finding out what happened to Jenny?
  • What are some of the similarities between both cases?
  • Did you trust Hannah or did you have concerns about how easily she was able to get close to Rachel?
  • What did you think about the coverage of the trial itself? 
  • The two cases feature many of the same people at different stages in life. Did you think it was interesting how it all connected or did you believe it was a bit too convenient? 
  • Most of the people in town believed that Jenny just drowned, despite being a good swimmer. And she also developed a reputation for being “easy.” It’s similar with Kelly where people try to say she was drunk and hooked up with Scott and then regretted it later, which we know both women were assaulted. Why do you think so many people try to victim blame in those situations?
  • Why do you think Mitch Alkins switched from being a defender to a prosecutor? What did you think about his storyline with Jenny?
  • Did you have any suspicions about Kelly’s father Dan Moore? Or were you completely surprised when it turned out he was part of the group to assault Jenny and eventually he murdered her? 
  • What did you think about the ending? Do you feel that justice was served in both cases or do you think it wasn’t enough? Do you think Hannah will finally find peace and be able to move forward with her life?
  • If the author wrote a sequel with Rachel investigating another case, would you read it? 

More recommendations 

Hope you enjoyed book club questions for The Night Swim! Here are some more recommendations along with links to book club questions.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley 

The Guest List by Lucy Foley is a murder mystery that is so readable, you can read it one sitting. 

The bride – The plus one – The best man – The wedding planner  – The bridesmaid – The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?

You can order the book on Amazon here. Check out my book club questions here


The Last Flight by Julie Clark 

The Last Flight by Julie is a very well done thriller. And I’m very picky on which thrillers I recommend!

Claire Cook has a perfect life. Married to the scion of a political dynasty, with a Manhattan townhouse and a staff of ten, her surroundings are elegant, her days flawlessly choreographed, and her future auspicious. But behind closed doors, nothing is quite as it seems. That perfect husband has a temper that burns as bright as his promising political career, and he’s not above using his staff to track Claire’s every move, making sure she’s living up to his impossible standards. But what he doesn’t know is that Claire has worked for months on a plan to vanish.

A chance meeting in an airport bar brings her together with a woman whose circumstances seem equally dire. Together they make a last-minute decision to switch tickets―Claire taking Eva’s flight to Oakland, and Eva traveling to Puerto Rico as Claire. They believe the swap will give each of them the head start they need to begin again somewhere far away. But when the flight to Puerto Rico goes down, Claire realizes it’s no longer a head start but a new life. Cut off, out of options, with the news of her death about to explode in the media, Claire will assume Eva’s identity, and along with it, the secrets Eva fought so hard to keep hidden.

For fans of Lisa Jewell and Liv Constantine, The Last Flight is the story of two women―both alone, both scared―and one agonizing decision that will change the trajectory of both of their lives.

You can order the book on Amazon here. Check out my book club questions here.

Happy reading!

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