Tell us a story

LoveReading is thrilled to announce the launch of The Very Short Story Award 2019! If you think you have a story we'll love, click here to find out more and how to enter:

Find out more

The Swimming Pool

by Louise Candlish

Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel eBooks of the Month Family Drama Modern and Classic Literary Fiction Relationship Stories Thriller and Suspense

LoveReading View on The Swimming Pool

One of our Books of the Year 2016.

Tense and full of intrigue, this is a novel that sinks into the depths of obsession and discovers a very dangerous game afoot. The newly opened, glamorous lido calls to Natalie and in one summer her life changes beyond all recognition. The prologue and first chapter declare from the outset that a dramatic event has occurred. The story explores the whole of the summer, occasionally touching on the past and then suddenly switching directly to the aftermath. These jarring changes in time create a feeling of foreboding as the timelines slide towards their inevitable collision. Louise Candlish excels in looking at the darker side of relationships, she discovers thoughts and feelings that are recognisable but at the same time feel dangerously untouched. ‘The Swimming Pool’ is a slow-burning and thought-provoking read, and the last few gripping pages had me immediately reaching for the beginning.

Liz Robinson

The Swimming Pool Synopsis

The swimming pool: a perfect stage. In the heady swelter of a London summer, the Elm Hill lido opens. For teacher Natalie Steele, the school holiday typically means weeks of carefully planned activities with her husband Ed and their daughter Molly. But not this year. Despite Molly's extreme phobia of the water, Natalie is drawn to the lido and its dazzling social scene, led by the glamorous Lara Channing. Soon Natalie is spending long, intoxicating days with Lara at the pool - and intimate evenings at her home. Natalie's real life begins to feel very far away. But is the new friendship everything it seems? Why is Natalie haunted by memories from another summer years ago? And, without realising, has she been swept dangerously out of her depth?

Win Don't You Cry

Win Don't You Cry

Closing date: 11/10/2018

To celebrate the September release of Cass Green's "dynamic, powerfully expressive novel" Don't You Cry, we are giving away FIVE copies of the latest psychological thriller AND a 'Most Stressful Night of Your Life package' of luxury Hot Chocolate and a MINI Bottle of Whiskey!!! She saved your life. Now she'll make you pay - One stolen baby. Two desperate strangers. One night of terror. The competition closes on the 11th October 2018. The winner will be informed by the 17th October 2018. To have a chance of winning this fantastic prize, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter and you must be 18 or over to enter this competition. Multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once. By entering this competition you are agreeing to the conditions mentioned above and to adhere to the LoveReading Terms and Conditions. 

Enter Now

The Swimming Pool Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Gemma Niven - 'Excellent book that will keep you guessing until the very end! Thoroughly enjoyable read.'
  • Emma Barton - 'This is an enthralling tale, set during a summer heat wave, when habits and morals are relaxed around a newly renovated lido in an affluent part of London.'
  • Joan Sidwell - 'Told partly in flashback and even with a twist in the tale, I found the plot and characters quite unpleasant and creepy'
  • Natasha Motton - 'Enthralling page turner that draws you into the complicated relationships of the characters and leaves you wanting to find out more!'
  • Cheryl Kinney - 'A gripping read.'
  • Beryl White - 'An excellent novel of the mixed emotions of one woman who is infatuated by the life style of her glamorous new friend with almost devastating consequences.'
  • Rebecca Whymark - 'Excellent, full of intrigue and glamour.'
  • Cleo Bannister - 'Risky friendships past and present.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'I really loved this story, the twists were surprising, and kept me on my toes.'
  • Rosie Watch - 'Beneath the heightening tension and subplots there was a more real element of family relationships and the underlying story of aging and loss of youth and opportunity that made the story very readable.'
  • Vicki Wardman - 'When a book keeps you up reading until 2.30am you know it's a good one. The whole novel has a seductive atmosphere that draws the reader in, and keeps you guessing right up until the very end.' 
  • Alex - 'It was one extreme to the other, whilst never quite running with a singular idea. The novel had a clear ending point that seemed the most disinteresting aspect of the novel.'
  • Claire Nethercoat - 'A book that twists and turns with every page. One to take to the beach, just stay away from the water.'
  • Carol Peace - 'A rollercoaster of a ride you do not want to miss.'
  • Sue Burton - 'A well written book but maybe dragged out too much.'
  • Helen Appleby - 'A psychological thriller that entwines and brings together stories of the past and links them to the future.  The Swimming Pool is a tale of how your past always has a habit of catching up with you.'
  • Hannah Ward - 'Louise has a brilliant way that just draws you into her characters worlds, her writing is exceptional. There are twists and turns that will leave you thinking ‘Oh my god! Did that just happen?’'
  • Hayley - 'The Swimming Pool is full of simmering tension, and the rising temperature is a great catalyst for what follows in Natalie's life.'
  • Tanera Simons - 'An interesting and thought-provoking read, although slow at times.'
  • Janet Monks - 'Candlish creates a fantastically dark atmosphere revealing the depths of the mind of her main character and the almost eerie unveiling of the 'goings on' surrounding the pool.'
  • Laura Gardner - 'Compelling but not always likeable characters - A captivating read.'
  • Kerry Bridges - 'Totally contrived and unbelievable nonsense from start to finish.  Not one I can recommend I am afraid!'
  • Ann Alderton - 'A highly compelling story about a cat and mouse game...Louise Candlish has exploited a deep-seated insecurity about friendships that many of us will recognise from our teenage years.'
  • Margaret Madden - 'This novel is dripping with atmosphere. Clouds make way for sunshine at Elm Hill's lido, but the tension is building behind the scenes.
  • Phylippa Smithson - 'There were that many red herrings in this very readable thriller, Candlish could have filled her Swimming Pool.'

The Swimming Pool Press Reviews

Praise for Louise Candlish:

'A thriller novel meets soap opera with hints of Rear Window ... addictive and fun ... it will keep you guessing until the end Stylist A master of her craft' Rosamund Lupton

'Absorbing, perceptive and gripping' Daily Mail

'Louise Candlish's stories don't shy away from life's more painful and emotional moments' Glamour

'Tense, twisty and completely addictive, will keep you guessing right until the end Good Housekeeping I loved this book. Full of complicated yet sympathetic characters and riven with the kind of dilemmas that characterise real lives. I honestly didn't see the twist coming. Perfect' Jojo Moyes on The Day You Saved my Life

If you loved this, you might like these...

City of Friends
Small Great Things
The Friend
City of Friends

All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781405919876
Publication date: 28/07/2016
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781405927321
Publication date: 05/05/2016
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781405927321
Publication date: 5th May 2016
Author: Louise Candlish
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Hardback
Genres: Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Literary Fiction, Reading Groups, Relationship Stories, Thriller / Suspense,
Categories:

About Louise Candlish

Louise Candlish was our Guest Editor in July 2010 - click here - to see the books that inspired her writing. Louise Candlish studied English at University College London and worked as an editor in art publishing and as a copywriter before writing fiction. Though her stories are about people facing dramatic dilemmas, she tries to live an uncomplicated life in London with her husband and daughter.

More About Louise Candlish

More Books By Louise Candlish

Cover for The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish
Cover for The Sudden Departure of the Frasers by Louise Candlish
Cover for Other People's Secrets by Louise Candlish
View All Books By Louise Candlish

Share this book