Book Review: The Lost Swimmer

The Lost Swimmer book cover

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The Lost Swimmer by Ann Turner

Simon & Schuster, PB £7.99

Reviewed by Karen Byrom

The Lost Swimmer book cover

Marital conflict, mystery and murder – this novel has it all!

Rebecca Wilding is an archeology professor at an Australian university. Her husband is an economics academic at the same institution. They have two high-achieving grown-up children, a beautiful beachfront property and a loyal dog.

The perfect couple? Well, maybe but the university is struggling with budget and job cuts and Rebecca can’t shrug a nagging suspicion that their marriage isn’t as strong as it should be – is Stephen having an affair?

Then things start to seriously unravel.

The university launches a fraud investigation after it emerges that Rebecca seems to have been syphoning funds into mysterious Greek bank accounts. Her boss seems to have it in for her.

And the dog gets into a fight with a kangaroo…

Determined to prove all the allegations wrong, Rebecca launches her own investigations while on a joint business trip with Stephen.

And so begins a journey across Europe for the troubled couple, encountering an increasingly colourful cast of characters as they go.

Then, as they attempt to relax on the idyllic Amalfi Coast, Stephen vanishes. And now, as well as fraud, Rebecca is under investigation for murder!

Author Ann Turner is an award-winning screenwriter and director so, as you would expect, she’s incredibly skilled at creating realistic scenes and setting intriguing plotlines. The novel fairly rattles along and is never, ever boring.

Perhaps Rebecca isn’t the most endearing heroine as she obsesses about her husband’s lack of openness all the while keeping some stinking secrets of her own and there are one or two unimaginative stereotypes of minor characters.

But this is a great holiday read as we rip around Europe’s most beautiful striking cities and resorts puzzling out a web of clues and red herrings.

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Karen Byrom