Fred and Elly have a good life, but it's busy. So when Fred wins an Irish Pub in Ireland in a dart competition, they decide to pack it all up and move. Fred studies up on how to run a pub, and Elly is anxious to swim in the waters. She's a long distance swimmer and she's extraordinarily good at it. She has a skin condition that gives her a higher fat density, making it easier for her to float and not drown.
When they arrive, it takes a while to get the pub, called the Nightjar, into working order. While Fred works with various contractors to get the pub ready to open, Elly goes to Cape Clear, a nearby island. There, she stays at a bed and breakfast and begins to know the locals and about the ancient clan, descended from Irish saints, who have ruled the island for centuries.
What Elly really wants to do is swim the Fastnet, a dangerous endeavor. Also, Elly keeps seeing a strange man with no arms walking the fences at night, leading a pack of goats. When she questions the locals about it, they regard her curiously. They haven't seen that person and have no idea who she is talking about.
Meanwhile, Fred is trying to write a novel and spend time with Elly when it allows. Elly misses Fred as well, but her swimming seems to have taken over most of her time. But as the two of them find their lives immersing more with the locals, danger begins to surround them. As it accelerates, their marriage begins to crumble.
With a cast of likable and original characters, a dramatic and beautiful backdrop, a dangerous feud and a local intrigue, The Night Swimmer is a unique journey with complex plotting. Powerful, beautiful writing and remarkable storytelling, you won't want to miss this exciting novel!