Sunday, 15 March 2015

Book Review: THE LOST SWIMMER by Ann Turner

The Lost Swimmer

Title: The Lost swimmer
Author: Ann Turner
Publisher: Simon & Schuster AU
Read: March 2015
Expected publication:
1 June 2015

Synopsis (Goodreads):

Rebecca Wilding, an archaeology professor, traces the past for a living.

But suddenly, truth and certainty is turning against her. Rebecca is accused of serious fraud, and worse, she suspects – she knows – that her husband, Stephen, is having an affair.

Desperate to find answers, Rebecca leaves with Stephen for Greece, Italy and Paris, where she can uncover the conspiracy against her, and hopefully win Stephen back to her side, where he belongs. There’s too much at stake – her love, her work, her family.

But on the idyllic Amalfi Coast, Stephen goes swimming and doesn’t come back.

In a swirling daze of panic and fear, Rebecca is dealt with fresh allegations. And with time against her, she must uncover the dark secrets that stand between her and Stephen, and the deceit that has chased her halfway around the world.

My thoughts:

At 47 years old, archaeology professor Rebecca Wilding should be having the time of her life. At the peak of her career, with her two children having flown the nest and the support of a devoted husband she is free to follow her passion of travelling to archaeology digs and writing about ancient Greek artefacts. But without warning things start to go wrong. Due to budget cuts Rebecca faces the backlash of colleagues losing jobs at her university, she is being undermined and bullied by her superior at work  and her husband of 25 years, Stephen, is acting secretive and staying out late. Worst of all, she is being accused of embezzlement when secret overseas bank accounts bearing her name are discovered by the university accountant – but Rebecca is sure she has never signed the paperwork to open them, let alone illegally transferred money into them.

In a desperate effort to get to the bottom of Stephen’s odd behaviour and save her marriage, Rebecca decides to keep the fraud charges from him and goes ahead with a long-planned working holiday to Greece and Italy, where she and Stephen have had many wonderful times in the past. It also gives her the chance to visit the bank where the illegal bank accounts are located, but when she tries to talk to the bank manager she hits a wall – with the Australian authorities investigating the case against her, how much longer will she be able to keep it from Stephen? Despite their get-away he is still acting strangely, disappearing for hours without explanation, taking secretive phone calls and acting distant and distracted. With a sinking heart Rebecca is now certain that he is having an affair – possibly with her worst enemy. Whilst staying in a hotel on the rugged Amalfi coast, Stephen goes swimming and never returns. On the run from local authorities, who accuse Rebecca of her husband’s murder, time is running out to find out what really happened to Stephen.

I loved The Lost Swimmer and it totally captivated me. Partly set in Australia, partly in Greece, Italy and Paris, the author managed to evoke the sights, smells and atmospheres of different shores so vividly that reading it became like armchair travel. The characters are believable, authentic and three dimensional, with Rebecca making an interesting and likeable main protagonist. Her love and loyalty to her husband and her efforts to try and save her marriage despite her suspicions are touching, succeeding in conveying the author’s intentions of a love story forming the basis of the novel.  I couldn’t put the book down and read it in one sitting, totally engrossed in its setting and story. The only thing which stops me from giving it the full 5 stars is that it ended a bit too abruptly for my liking ... there was still so many possibilities for an extra twist and a bit more suspense. I fully recommend The Lost Swimmer to anyone who likes a good mystery set in many different interesting locations – this book will want to make you go out and buy an airline ticket. Thoroughly enjoyed it!

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a free electronic copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I'm looking forward to reading this,

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

    1. I'll be interested to see what you think :)