I've mentioned before that I'm a fan of podcasts, particularly ones about books and true crime. So Megan Goldin's newest standalone was a natural next read for me as it's a book about a true crime podcaster. Tada! Thank you Megan Goldin. But seriously, and not just because the book is about a true crime podcast, this is a great crime thriller by an author I think is one to watch.
Rachel Krall is in search of that next big crime story to research and report on for the third season of her true crime podcast, Guilty or Not Guilty, (think Serial). She thinks she's found just the thing in the polarizing rape case that is tearing apart the town of Neapolis, NC. The accused is a popular young swimmer with hopes of going to the Olympics and the accuser is a high-schooler, the granddaughter of a former police chief. As the trial gets underway Rachel comes to town in hopes of rooting out the truth and lay it out for the listeners of her podcast. As she investigates and reports the current day case, she is being left notes by a woman named Hannah who is urging her to look into the death of another girl, twenty-five years ago. The novel alternates between Rachel's investigations of the present and the events of the past that are still reverberating throughout the community to this day.
Megan Goldin has written an excellent mystery/thriller, but more than that she has used the form to delve into rape culture and how it has changed or not over the last few decades.** This was a captivating, compulsive (while also gut-wrenching) read and I look forward to what the author will do next - including being entirely open to another novel featuring podcaster Rachel.
**Trigger warning for rape.