The Lost Swimmer
Simon & Schuster, $29.99 pb, 346 pp, 9781925030860
The Lost Swimmer is a novel full of movement, colour, and complex plot threads. Although this is her first novel, Ann Turner’s experience as a significant Australian film director and screenwriter has given her a tight grasp on the unfolding of narrative in sharply realised locations. The Lost Swimmer, an expertly scripted psychological thriller, deftly takes its multiple characters and possibilities through a dizzying array of twists and turns.
The story is told through the first person voice of Bec Wilding, a Professor of Archaeology and Head of her academic department at the fictional Coastal University. Not only is Bec weighed down with the usual constraints and toxicities symptomatic of life in the modern university, but she is becomingly increasingly aware that something else is seriously wrong – in both her professional and personal spheres. Her handsome fellow academic husband, Stephen, is acting erratically, and Bec fears he is having an affair with the Dean of Arts, the ruthless Priscilla, who is simultaneously making her life hell.