Dark Corners by Megan Goldin features a podcaster. I’ve noticed it’s increasingly common for books to feature podcasters, or true crime web/streaming series and the like, and being able to switch up the narrative with scripts or other text is a useful device for keeping readers’ attention. (Interestingly I wonder how they’ll age. If in 20 years it’ll be the equivalent of us reading about telegrams sent a century ago or radio plays.) Anyhoo, it took me a while to realise this also felt familiar as it is the second in the series featuring Rachel Krall. It doesn’t matter if you’ve not read The Night Swim, as I’d certainly not put the pieces together for much of the novel.
I’ve read all three of Megan Goldin’s previous books and commented in past reviews that she gives us something different in each outing and I wonder if it’s the varied nature of Goldin’s journalistic background that has her moving between thrillers and domestic noir, dipping into the world of podcasts, cold crimes, rape trials and… escape rooms.
In her latest release, Stay Awake, she explores the world of amnesia, trauma and lost memories. It’s akin to Drew Barrymore’s condition in the popular movie, 50 First Dates… although here it’s brought on my psychological trauma rather than brain damage. Which of course means those memories could reappear at any time…
This is the third novel I’ve read by former journalist Megan Goldin. Her debut The Girl in Kellers Way was published in 2017 and The Escape Room in 2018. Interestingly all three books have felt kinda different. The first was very much domestic noir; the second a suspenseful thriller; and here there’s less of a sense of impending doom. The Night Swim is more about human nature – about people and the things we do. The things we don’t do. For me it also offered a sense of sad wistfulness, a sense of injustice.
Interestingly, though I liked our lead character Rachel, Goldin doesn’t give us a lot of information about her. This book, which I really enjoyed, is very plot driven. And we’re actually offered two mysteries: a rape trial which is the subject of Rachel’s podcast; and a death from 25 years earlier.
“I’m just gonna read for a bit tonight cos I’ve got an early start tomorrow,” I said as I opened The Escape Room by Megan Goldin. I’d add the hashtag…. #famouslastwords but you can guess what comes next.
Yep. Me finishing the book while drinking wine and alternating between caramello koalas and little triangles of processed cheese, while ensonced in my warm bed at my mother’s for hours after my intended bedtime. *
Megan Goldin is a former foreign correspondent, reporting on war and terrorism. She’s now back in her hometown of Melbourne penning fiction and The Girl in Kellers Way, her debut novel is set in small-town America and firmly fits into the very popular genre of domestic noir. So it’s a psychological thriller – my fave! 🙂