On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping new novel by Joseph Knox, True Crime Story.
‘What happens to those girls who go missing? What happens to the Zoe Nolans of the world?’
In the early hours of Saturday 17 December 2011, Zoe Nolan, a nineteen-year-old Manchester University student, walked out of a party taking place in the shared accommodation where she had been living for three months.
She was never seen again.
Seven years after her disappearance, struggling writer Evelyn Mitchell finds herself drawn into the mystery. Through interviews with Zoe’s closest friends and family, she begins piecing together what really happened in 2011. But where some versions of events overlap, aligning perfectly with one another, others stand in stark contrast, giving rise to troubling inconsistencies.
Shaken by revelations of Zoe’s secret life, and stalked by a figure from the shadows, Evelyn turns to crime writer Joseph Knox to help make sense of a case where everyone has something to hide.
Zoe Nolan may be missing presumed dead, but her story is only just beginning.
I’m a huge fan of Joseph Knox’s work. True Crime Story is one of the most original books I’ve read this year. It’s told in a very unusual way, and I thought it really worked. It is so engaging, and the characters came to life on the page.
The title is perfect for this book. It really does feel as though you are reading about a true-life event that has taken place. Joseph Knox himself is a character in his story as he tries to work out alongside aspiring writer, Evelyn Mitchell, what happened to Zoe Nolan a student who went missing in 2011. It was interesting reading this as I kept wondering if this was indeed based upon true events. But that was part of the magic of the storytelling.
The mystery of Zoe Nolan’s disappearance drew me into the book. I could see Evelyn Mitchell’s excitement as she talked about what she was hoping to achieve with her book, and her excitement at the prospect of solving the mystery. It made me want to read on as I wanted to find out what had happened to Zoe myself as much as she did.
Joseph Knox tells the story through a series of interviews with the people who knew Zoe and who were among the last to see her. They all had their own unique voice and I thought it was really well done how Joseph Knox mad their stories come to life. I couldn’t work out if any of them could possibly be involved in Zoe’s disappearance and I wanted to find out more about them. I had different theories forming in my mind, but I was never able to guess what had happened to her.
I think this would make a great audiobook. True Crime Story is an addictive read and it’ll have you thinking and examining everything you think you know about the characters. It was very entertaining. If you love listening to true crime podcasts, then you will love this book. I highly recommend it.
Publication day: 17th June 2021
Print length: 448 pages
True Crime Story is available to buy: