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The Lost Swimmer

3.20  ·  Rating details ·  848 ratings  ·  172 reviews
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 ag
Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 1st 2015 by Simon & Schuster AU
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3.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  848 ratings  ·  172 reviews

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Australian archaeology professor Rebecca Wilding loved her job at Coastal University in Victoria; she had travelled widely with her work and particularly loved the digs in Athens. As Head, she was in charge of a large number of staff and was feeling the pressure from Priscilla, the Dean over cuts as they were over budget. But when serious discrepancies showed up in the financials with Rebecca’s signature attached to the forms, she was shattered. She knew she had done no wrong but the deepening i ...more
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-2015
E-book gifted by NetGalley for review

The Lost Swimmer is the story of Rebecca Wilding, a successful archaeology professor, whose life is not idyllic with problems at work and at home. She is trying to solve issues with the department head Priscilla, who wants to cut jobs to save money and with a husband whom she suspects having an affair. But her life plummets into a downward spiral when questions are raised about her accounts in regards to funding. Someone has framed her for fraud and she want
May 01, 2015 rated it liked it
I’m confused as to what I want to rate The Lost Swimmer as. On one hand Ann Turner has delivered quite a compulsive read, but on the other hand it was also disappointing. Perhaps my expectations were set too high?

Why was I disappointed?

-The Lost Swimmer was quite slow burning, the husband doesn’t go missing until well over the halfway mark
-I felt that there wasn’t really a ‘kaboom’ ending
-The main character (Rebecca Wilding) was very tiresome
-Exploration of characters was shallow

(so The Lost Swi
Jul 02, 2015 rated it did not like it
I did not enjoy this book. I was hoping for a suspenseful and gripping mystery but was sorely disappointed. I would disagree with the reviews that state this book was generally well-written. I found it to be awkwardly written and, in fact, overwritten. Very early on I began merely skimming the endless descriptions of the beach, etc. Not to mention the repeated use of 'gossamer' and a bizarre kangaroo attack incident. And yet, for all that, the characters themselves are quite shallow and ill-defi ...more
Veronica ⭐️
4.5 stars

The Lost Swimmer is a thrilling debut novel with themes of love and trust. Water is also a strong theme, both the attraction to the water and the fear of it.
How well do we know our loved ones, our husband or our wife? Rebecca and Stephen each had their own internal struggles and while seeming to support and love each other on the outside they found when things got difficult neither of them could turn to the other to confide in or seek help.

The story was quite believable it had my mind w
May 04, 2015 rated it really liked it

Life should be good for Rachel Wilding. She's at the top of her profession as a Professor of Archaeology at a small coastal University where her husband Stephen is also a successful academic, a professor of Economics. They have a beautiful house on a lovely coastline and their two children have grown up and are leading their own lives in the city. However, things are not going well at work. Her Dean is making life difficult for her and a serious case of fraud has been uncovered for which Rachel
May 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Reading through my friends' reviews I realise that I wasn't as taken by this debut novel as they were. Whilst I enjoyed the story overall and wanted to get to the end to find out what happened and there were some moments of real tension and suspense, I wasn't totally convinced. I can't quite put my finger on what stopped me from completely loving this but there was something that felt a little stilted and perhaps staged in the writing. Having said that there are many parts of it I enjoyed, espec ...more
The Lost Swimmer is sold to us as a thriller, a story of mystery and suspense. It does possess elements of all three of those genres for certain, but it has some serious pacing issues to contend with before it reaches the likes of the best of those genres.

If it takes 65% of the book before the main mystery occurs, I think you might lose a lot of your readers prior to the excitement. It was a slow, meandering burn of a read. It built lots and lots of the Australian countryside into the story, eve
Lizzy Chandler
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Ann Turner’s debut novel, The Lost Swimmer, is prefaced with a quote from Heraclitus: "Everything flows and nothing abides, everything gives way and nothing stays fixed." (Heraclitus c. 535-475 BC)

Both the theme of “time” and the image of water pervade the novel.

The first-person narrator, Rebecca Wilding, is a professor of archaeology at the generically-named Coastal University in regional Victoria. She is passionate about ancient artefacts, and the layers of time that make up history. When Rebe
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘The sand was washed clean today, stretching wide at low tide.’

Rebecca Wilding is a forty-seven year old archaeology professor. Married, with two adult children away at university, Rebecca has time to pursue her interest in ancient Greek artefacts and to consolidate her career. But suddenly, things start to go wrong. Budget cuts within Rebecca’s department at the university are likely to translate into job losses, and her superior Priscilla is undermining and belittling her. Her husband Stephen
May 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I’ve read some great new thrillers lately, and this one continues with that trend.

The Lost Swimmer is Australian Turner’s debut novel, but she’s not exactly a novice, having screenwriting and movie direction in her resume, and I think it shows in the easy confidence of her writing.

Rebecca is an archaeology professor at an Australian university, and the opening few chapters shows how she is struggling to come to terms with her position of middle management: paperwork and budgets and juggling sta
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

The Lost Swimmer is a low key psychological thriller from debut author Ann Turner.

University department Head Rebecca Wilding is under extraordinary pressure both professionally and personally. Accused of embezzlement by a hostile colleague and fretting about her husband's increasingly odd behaviour, she hopes that she can resolve both situations during a long planned overseas trip. Instead, Rebecca finds herself in the midst of a crisis when the she becomes the target of the fraud investigation
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
Ann Turner is an outstanding writer. She describes places and events so lyrically that you can feel yourself there.

In The Lost Swimmer, she takes us on a journey of discovery from Australia where an academic couple are struggling in their marriage and their careers, through Greece, Italy and Paris.

Both Rebecca and Stephen are faced with making cutbacks in their respective departments at Coastal University. Rebecca suspects Stephen of having an affair, and stands accused of fraud within her depar
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
My View:
This is a another book that is a slow burn – it took me a very long time to get involved in this narrative and after I finished reading I was not sure what the book was trying to achieve, what genre this was trying to fit into- mystery, thriller, romance…there was a little bit of everything here. My biggest issue with the narrative was about the relationship between Rebecca and her husband Stephen – for a relationship that was largely rock solid, supportive and trusting (at least at the
Liz Barnsley
Honestly at the end of The Lost Swimmer I'm not entirely sure what I think about it.

One thing, the settings, resonated over and above everything else - I loved the descriptive sense of the places the characters visited and the immersive way Ann Turner pulls you into their world but that, in and of itself, wasn't enough to make me love it. Also the kangaroo attack felt totally out of place. I'm not even sure what that was meant to achieve..

ANYWAY as for the rest of the tale it was a slow burner,
Tracy Shephard
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Despite the uneasy tension that Ann Turner manages to make her reader feel in this fabulous novel she also gives the most PERFECT holiday read and an ideal holiday destination.

This book is brilliant, it builds at a easy pace and is a perfect blend of description and tale.

Rebecca is a lady who is having a hard time, accused of a serious crime with a husband she doesn't really trust, her travel plans make a turn for the worse when her husband Stephen goes missing, presumed drowned.

Ms Turner does
Mar 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 supe
Sep 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Unputdownable! Just the thing to get you through a slow day or a sleepless night.

The narrator is a university professor and the author obviously knows her world well: the descriptions of "universities [that are] as much about business as the acquisition of knowledge", of "academics talking endlessly about each other" (both p. 45)--to say nothing of the grotesqueries of "mediation sessions" at Coastal University's "Counselling and Wellbeing Centre" (chapters 6 & 7)--are convincingly done. Di
Melinda Elizabeth
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Lost Swimmer is a rich thriller with an intriguing plot and authentic Australian narrative.
Rebecca is a professor at a struggling university, where staff and budget cuts are occurring throughout the faculties. Attempting to maintain her integrity to her staff and deliver quality programs to students, Rebecca finds herself at loggerheads with Priscilla, the head of department.

Whilst her husband Stephen works at the university in a similar role, there’s a lack of connection between the two t
Deeqa Ali
Mar 10, 2015 rated it really liked it

The Lost Swimmer by Ann Turner has a calm beginning to it. The storytelling quite unique and attention grabbing and it hooks you in.Her sentence structure contained enough descriptive words to paint a gorgeous picture in your head. There was different storylines present and they all intertwined coercively. It was like being in a rollercoaster anticipating that gut-dropping and gut-wrenching feeling associated with loops accept you didn’t know when it was coming. I knew the twists and turns were
Barbara Rohde
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. Essentially a mystery it drew me in right from the start with a tight narrative and a satisfying resolution. It concerns an academic, Rebecca Wilding, who is accused of misusing university funds and her husband, Stephen, also an academic, whom she suspects of having an affair. Initially set in Australia it soon moves to Italy on the Amalfi coast where her husband disappears. Well crafted and a real page turner.
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
It was gripping and much better than The Girl on the Train. Although I did suspect who it was that framed Rebecca quite early on, I didn't guess what had happened to Stephen. I do recommend it for being a less conventional thriller. I wouldn't ordinarily think a book about academic fraud would be exciting but it was.
Jun 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Lost Swimmer was a fantastic read- I was hooked from start to finish!
In fact I was so hooked I ended up missing my tram stop because I was too busy reading!!
Ann writes so cinematically I felt like I was on Amalfi coast. Engaging and interesting plot, compelling until the last page.
If you're looking for a beautifully written thriller, I can't recommend this book enough.

Michael Livingston
Aug 23, 2015 rated it did not like it
This did nothing for me - poorly developed characters, implausible relationships and a pretty ludicrous plot that is mostly just red herrings and stressing out. The weirdly aggressive minor characters scattered throughout Italy were super weird as well - anyway, can't win them all I guess.
Mar 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, recommended, work
Full disclosure: I received an advance copy from the publisher through work.
Apr 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Rebecca Wilding is in the prime of her life where everything should be perfect, she has a great job, wonderful husband, adult kids and the perfect beach house. Yet slowly everything begins to unravel, the university she works at is facing cutbacks, she is at loggerheads with the dean, she faces allegations of fraud and the possibility her husband is having an affair.

Travelling from Australia to Europe for work Rebecca and her husband Stephen try to reconnect but deception and paranoia weighs th
The book opens with archaeology professor Rebecca Wilding going for a run with her dog Big Boy. Over the course of the next 50 pages, we find out her husband is terrible, her job is terrible and her children are terrible. After reading this litany of horribleness, I felt like I'd just gone out to lunch with someone who'd had a horrible day and who had just complained non-stop throughout the whole thing. It is not fun hanging out with that type of person! So I hopped on to Goodreads to see if the ...more
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, read-2015
Rebecca is an Australian University professor carrying some baggage from her past. She is happily married with two grown children, when she begins to suspect her husband is having an affair. The funding cuts at the University are also placing pressure on Rebecca and then to top it all off, she is placed under investigation for embezzlement involving a European bank. Rebecca and her husband had a European working holiday planned and during this trip Rebecca tries to find out the truth.

Rebecca's p
Apr 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Rebecca Wilding is having a tough time at Coast University, particularly with the Dean of the Arts faculty, Professor Priscilla Chiton, who seems determined to make her life hell. Priscilla used to be a friend, but now Rebecca suspects she is having an affair with her husband Stephen, Professor of Economics. Rebecca also suspects that Stephen may be dabbling on the stock market again.

Suddenly things start to go very wrong when accounting irregularities crop up and Rebecca is accused of siphoning
Annie Seaton
Apr 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Ann Turner's debut novel was a book I couldn't put down. It moved along at a cracking pace and the fast movement of the plot validated the deepening fraud and Rebecca's associated confusion, until you felt out of control along with her. The writing moves from gritty to lyrical, and her description of the Amalfi coast is wonderful. Even in the middle of fast paced action, and its bizarre secondary characters, the mood of the Italian landscape is strong. I would recommend this as a top suspense re ...more
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Ann Turner is an award-winning screenwriter and director, avid reader, and history lover. She is drawn to salt-sprayed coasts, luminous landscapes, and the people who inhabit them all over the world. She is a passionate gardener.

Her films include the historical feature Celia starring Rebecca Smart — which Time Out listed as one of the fifty greatest directorial debuts of all time, Hammers Over Th