Cover Image: I Killed Zoe Spanos

I Killed Zoe Spanos

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Member Reviews

2.5 stars. This book started incredibly slowly. A lot of it was just boring to me. It’s set in the Hamptons so it has that lazy, a rich person was murdered vibe that I really don’t prefer in a story. 

The actual story wasn’t too bad though. The mystery wrapped up in a somewhat unexpected way, but was still mostly plausible. This one had one of those last chapter extra reveal about the main reveal that I really like in thrillers. (Recommend The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas and The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager if you’re looking for a similar effect)

I don’t feel that I’ve gained anything by having read this but it wasn’t awful. I do think if you like more affluent mysteries you’ll like this one.
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Finally got the kindle download and oh so grateful!  This was one of those books that really  hooked me from page one, didn’t let go until the very end!  Had lots of suspense throughout, lots of goosebump inducing chills, and gasp worthy shocks!  I found it to be written in a fast paced, intense style, which was gripping and absolutely thrilling!  I did not love the ending, but dull must give a full 5 stars for the unputdownable pull this book kept on me, Until I finished it and even then it remained in my thoughts for a bit!  My recommendation is, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND, but this is one you will need a clear schedule for, also prepare for that book hangover you are sure to get, after you finish!
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5 EPIC STARS for this page turning YA Thriller! I was HOOKED & read this book in just about 1 sitting, never anticipating THAT ending! I plan on re-reading via audiobook since I'm a big lover of the podcast SERIAL & think this will be an engrossing audiobook. Full GUSH RTC on Lair Of Books on Friday 7/3/2020, links will be added once it goes live, here on Netgalley.

UPDATED FULL REVIEW

It’s safe to say by now that I’ll give anything a shot when described as having a podcast style of writing & to this day I have yet to be disappointed. I guess my only wish here is that I had been able to also listen to the audiobook of this GRIPPING new YA Thriller. This being a eGalley however, I sat down to read for a bit not expecting to have to pry this book away or break night reading. Set in the Hamptons during the summer, we meet Anna Cicconi who has been hired as a nanny for a wealthy family. Anna is looking for a fresh start where she can shed some of her toxic past & prepare for life as a college student. When Anna arrives in the Hamptons she is received by many with stares due to the uncanny resemblance she bears with Zoe Spanos. Zoe is a girl who has gone missing & is being grieved by many, she is also the source matter for a trending local podcast run by Martina Green. Martina’s podcast is rising in popularity with many listening in as she interviews friends & family about Zoe. I absolutely LOVED the entries we read that are transcribed from the people Martina interviews. Although I was reading the eGalley, it was done so well that I could hear these people as if I were listening to the Podcast myself.

Anna Cicconi has the unfortunate luck of looking very similar to Zoe Spanos & that triggers in her a need to do a bit of investigative work herself. Anna starts asking questions that raise eyebrows & soon enough she finds herself deeply involved. Anna is an unreliable narrator, I definitely didn’t know if she was innocent or not for a good chunk of this book. Throw in the fact that Anna acknowledges having an alcohol problem, this made me question certain things. Anna finds herself confessing to the murder of Zoe Spanos however her story is riddled with holes & Martina is on a mission to fill those in. I could NOT stop myself from reading “just one more chapter” hooked until the very last page, I just needed to know what really happened to Zoe Spanos. How Anna came to be in the situation she finds herself in & whether or not there really was foul play afoot. Well! I could’ve NEVER guessed that ending & when I read that last paragraph I did so while my mouth hung open in shock. Sign me up for the next Kit Frick book, I’m here for it!
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What I liked
- The haunting premise hooked me right away — When Anna moved to Herron Mills to start a nannying job, everyone in town told her that she looked like a girl named Zoe... who had been missing for months. Since then, Anna began seeing visions of places she’d never been and memories she’d never had. The mystery kept me guessing every step of the way.
- I loved the mysterious and chilling vibes of the story and the setting, such as Anna’s neighbour’s home — an old mansion that had once been glorious, now rundown and overgrown with weeds. It was a bit unsettling to read this novel at night!
- The characters were more than what met the eye. Anna herself was an unreliable narrator, whose point of view I began to question later on throughout the novel. Several other characters who seemed at first friendly and amicable later turned out to be prime suspects of the mystery.
- I enjoyed the format of the story, which was comprised mostly of narrative in alternating points of view (Anna and Martina’s) along with transcripts from Martina’s podcast. The variety in the format kept the story interesting.
- The book kept me guessing about the culprit until the very end. I had absolutely no idea who was responsible for Zoe’s disappearance and why. Many mysteries are somewhat predictable but I liked that this one wasn’t.
- This novel was inspired by Rebecca which is a classic novel that I liked. I loved that the book borrowed elements from Rebecca without being a direct retelling of the story. It also channeled the same ghostly tone as Rebecca which was pretty cool. 

What I didn’t like
- Although I wasn’t able to predict the ending, I found it to be slightly... anticlimactic? It was interesting enough but I felt that I had expected more given all that had been set up in the beginning.
- Secondly I felt that the pacing dragged towards the end. Although I was eager to get to the bottom of the mystery, the build up to the ending wasn’t as spectacular as expected.

The bottom line
I Killed Zoe Spanos is a gripping psychological thriller that captivated me from the first page and sent chills down my spine. I enjoyed the haunting tone of the story and the unpredictable twists and turns that had me guessing until the very end.
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I tried to get through this one but the book was so slow.... I had no feelings for any of the characters. Ziltch. I'm sorry to say that I have DNF'd this book. I loved the cover and that was one of the reasons it drew me in other than that this is a no go for me.
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A tight YA thriller destined to be a mega hit. A definite must buy when purchasing time comes along.
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This book is definitely going to be the hottest YA thriller of the summer! I could not put it down! 😁

This book reminded me a lot of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder. (In a good way!) 

Can we talk about the cover?! And the sprayed edges?! I was so excited to receive my finished copy! 😍

This thriller had twists inside twists! I really thought I was onto the truth but I was actually wrong 😱

I wish that I would have been able to live in a pool house like Anna did during the summer. Being a live in nanny would be a lot of work, but working for the rich family would come with a lot of perks. 

I really loved the podcast aspect of the book. The book went back and forth between the past, current times and transcripts of a podcast about Zoe Spanos’ disappearance. My thoughts while reading the podcast transcripts was “Imagine being able to listen to the podcast during those sections of the book!” That would have been so cool! I wonder if someone could make that happen 😉
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I’m not normally a fan of amnesia/lost memory stories; I find them too convenient or full of cliches. But in I Killed Zoe Spanos, it works. We meet Anna as she is confessing to the murder of Zoe Spanos, detailing the night of New Year’s Eve, the night she saw Zoe die. Then we move back in time to Anna taking a job in the Hamptons, Zoe is a girl who’s been missing for months, and Anna is constantly being told how much she looks like her. Soon Anna starts having flashes of memories... did she know Zoe? She listens to a podcast made by a friend of Aster (Zoe’s sister), Martina. Everything she’s learning is mixing with her broken memories all coming to a point. In a deliciously twisted story, Zoe is entangled in Anna’s life, pulling her in different directions, and Anna struggles to keep a clear head.
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Though I've never read Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, I now want to after reading Kit Frick's I Killed Zoe Spanos, which is based on Rebecca.  But you don't need to have read Rebecca to enjoy I Killed Zoe Spanos.

A murder mystery, Frick's book takes the reader on a journey with main character Anna, who, when we meet her, is confessing to have killed Zoe.  However, the book alternates the "now" of Anna's confession and subsequent incarceration while awaiting trial with the "then" of the events that led up to Anna's confession.  Frick uses transcripts of a character's podcast to fill in backstory, and all the major characters are interesting and hold interest.

There are lovely plot twists and surprises throughout and the ending was satisfying.  I would recommend.
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Kit Frick’s new novel, I Killed Zoe Spanos, has all of the ingredients that make for a great summer read.  It has a compelling mystery regarding what has happened to Zoe Spanos and who is responsible, and it also features a fantastic podcast run by a teenager who doesn’t think the police are doing enough to solve the mystery.  Top that off with an unreliable narrator and a small town setting in the ultra-elite Hamptons and you’ve got yourself a must-read book for the beach or your next vacation.

The protagonist of I Killed Zoe Spanos is Anna Cicconi.  Anna has come to Herron Mills, a village in the Hamptons, to work as a nanny for a family there.  She is hoping this job will be a fresh start for her.  Anna has gone through a rough patch lately and spent entirely too much time partying and drinking, to the point where she has started experiencing blackouts and memory loss.  Anna’s journey takes an unexpected turn when she arrives in Herron Mills and is immediately told by everyone she meets that she looks just like Zoe Spanos, a young woman who went missing in the village months earlier.  Anna becomes interested in Zoe’s disappearance and starts having little flashes of memories that convince her that she knows Zoe and that she has been to Herron Mills before.  When the story opens and we are faced with a scene in which Anna is confessing to Zoe’s murder, it becomes clear that Anna’s summer in the Hamptons is life changing in all the wrong ways.

We get most of the story from Anna’s perspective, and Anna is a classic unreliable narrator.  From the moment we meet her as she is confessing to Zoe’s murder, it’s clear that we can’t necessarily trust what she’s saying.  The confession is oddly specific yet filled with comments like “I guess,” “I think,” etc. It doesn’t sound at all like a statement made by someone who is sure she committed the crime.  An even bigger cloud of doubt is cast over Anna’s story when we learn from her best friend Kaylee that she was with Anna and they weren’t even at the house where Anna is saying Zoe died.  Even though the story opens with a confession, the mystery of what happened to Zoe and what, if any, role Anna had in it, is truly about as muddled as it gets and I was hooked on wanting to get to the bottom of it.  I also really liked Anna and that she was trying to get her life under control, so I wanted her account to be wrong. I didn’t want her to be a killer.  Sometimes unreliable narrators don’t work well for me, but I loved its use here.

I was also a big fan of the author’s use of a dual timeline.  One timeline follows the events that lead up to the discovery of Zoe’s body, while the other timeline deals with the fallout after the body is discovered.  I always love watching the pieces of a puzzle come together this way, as it allows me lots of opportunities to try to fit those pieces together and come up with my own theories about what has happened, as I did with this story.  In this case, the chapters alternate between the two timelines so that the reader is fed a few crumbs at a time from each end of the mystery, both from Anna’s perspective and from the perspective of Martina Jenkins, who is conducting her own investigation into what happened to Zoe, and broadcasting her findings on a podcast called Missing Zoe.

I don’t want to give away any details about what actually happened to Zoe, but I will say that it’s a wild ride to the final reveal.  I came up with lots of theories along the way and was wrong every time.  In addition to the mystery about Zoe, there are also plenty of little side plots filled with secrets and drama that add extra layers of intrigue and suspense to the overall story.  I devoured I Killed Zoe Spanos in just a couple of sittings and definitely recommend it if you’re in the mood for a good mystery.
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The book is about:
I Killed Zoe Spanos tells the story of  Anna and her confession that she killed Zoe Spanos. The story began with her trip to the Hamptons one summer, to serve as a nanny there. Surprisingly, many people thought of her as Zoe because they are said to resemble each other. But Zoe is missing… Fast forward to two months after, Anna believes she is the reason why Zoe is dead.

What drew me in:
If you have been here a while, you probably know that I am a huge fan of YA thrillers. So when an invite to join the blog tour came, I grabbed the opportunity right away. A mysterious disappearance and an unreliable narrator is more than enough for me to go crazy about the chance to read this!

Characters & connections:

I have to admit, I was very confused about the beginning. I go back and forth about the characters and I kept going back to the earlier pages just to make sure that I’m at the right spot. However, as the story progressed, its cast of characters offers an amazing and thrilling experience, perfect for people who love whodunnits.

Everything I liked:
When you pick up a mystery book, you would want the author to keep you guessing and at your toes. I Killed Zoe Spanos will give you just that. It gave my brain a chance to exercise its detective skills – and I have to admit I had a slight guess about the ending but I didn’t know that the author will go that way. It was truly a fun experience.

Overall thoughts:
Kit Frick was a new-to-me author and this book was a great one to sample her prowess. I Killed Zoe Spanos is the perfect read for fans of Sadie (missing girls & podcasts) and now that I know that this book will have a full cast audio, I will surely make it a point to listen to it as soon as it is out! If you are looking for a good time with a YA thriller, this read will not disappoint.
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Anna is a 17-year-old girl who is deciding that her life needs a little change before she heads off to college. Her high school life has not been a very tame one and she has decided that she needs a break from all the parties. She gets a job in the Hamptons in the town of Herron Mills being an Au pair for a wealthy family. Anna soon realizes that she looks suspiciously like a girl who has gone missing. A girl who she has memories and visions of. Soon the body of Zoe Spanos is discovered. Anna starts to put pieces together and cannot help but wonder. Did she kill Zoe?

I killed Zoe Spanos was a book that I did not expect to fall in love with. I do not usually read a lot of mystery or contemporary books. The story moving between two different time periods really gives you a sense of knowing whats going to happen and then flips on its head. Many things did not make sense and that feeling of needing everything to fall into place kept my attention. I finished this book in one day not being able to put it down. I needed to know what happened to Zoe and if Anna was a part of it.

	The influence on Anna’s drinking and slightly hinting in that she is an alcoholic is an important part of the story that I think should have been resolved a little better in the end. I believe that people need to see that not only can you stop drinking on your own, but you can get help for it too. Her being an Alcoholic is what has her so confused and believing in the possibility that she could have killed Zoe.

	The book did a particularly good job of showing the difference between different class structures and what is possible when you have money. The fact that Anna is placed in juvey after she confesses to something without a lawyer present and without a parent. Along with the fact that her story does not hold water and she is still charged. While after a different individual confesses, they are given very lenient treatment because the family has money. This also comes up when you think about women going missing. Zoe is of high importance because of her status and family but some other women might not even be reported missing.

	This book is a remarkably interesting book that I think is coming out at the perfect time. Would be amazing to sit on the beach or alongside a pool in the sun reading this book. The scene that is set in the book makes me want to go to the beach and soak up the sun.
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OMGoodness!  I may have forgotten to apply a second layer of sun block, as this book was a page turner!  The connections between characters, the twists, turns, and guessing who did it keeps the reader engaged!  I thought I had it figured out, but oh was I wrong!  Highly recommend!  April Henry, Karen McManus fans-check this one out!  @kitfrick has written a thriller, must read mystery that will be impossible to put down until you know the truth about what happened to Zoe Spanos! #bookposse @simonteen #ikilledzoespanos
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Mystery, podcast, summer in the Hamptons, unreliable narrator. The perfect combination of aspects to make you really think while reading. I absolutely loved reading this book, and it felt like a perfect mix of Sadie by Courtney Summers and We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. Kit Frick wrote an absolutely addicting book that had my jaw dropped by the end of it. Personally, I usually try to figure out the mystery before it is revealed and often get it right. This book was so different, I was too caught up in the story to even think about what could have happened, I just needed to read more and more. 

One of my favorite parts of this book was how fleshed out all of the storylines were, all of the characters you got to know had more to them than you originally think. Mixing the pacing and the jumps through time the story unfolded seamlessly leaving me blown away. 

This being my first book by Kit Frick I am excited to say that I will be picking up any future releases from her. 

NetGalley provided me this arc but all thoughts and opinions are my own I have not been paid to review or promote this book.
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When Anna takes on a nanny job she finds herself in the middle of a missing person's case. Not only does she look like Zoe Spanos, she's accused of murdering her. 

Anna often forgets things. Appointments, conversations, and even events she's been told she attended. When she's questioned about her relationship with Zoe she starts to believe she may have actually killed her despite not remembering everything that happened. She doesn't even remember meeting Zoe but must have if the detectives questioning her say she has. 

Martina did have any idea how quickly her podcast would gain traction. As she starts to piece together what happened to Zoe she starts to wonder if Anna really is guilty or if there's more to the story. 

You'll find a variety of formats between past and present as well as snippets from the podcast Martina has put together. I enjoyed these differences because it helped build the mystery aspects of the story. All the pieces coming together will lead you to a surprise you won't be expecting! 

I would definitely recommend this to those who love a good YA Thriller! It's got a variety of characters, formats, and twists that'll keep you guessing from beginning to end!
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This summertime thriller by Kit Frick did not disappoint! It is the first novel I've read of Frick's, and now I am a fan! 

With terrific writing, a complex cast of characters, and a non-linear timeline, Kit Frick's I Killed Zoe Spanos dangles story questions and clues that will compel readers to keep turning pages until the satisfying end! 

The characters were well developed with full arcs, the plot was twisty, the format was engaging with podcasts, police interviews, and narratives, and Frick did an amazing overall job of storytelling.

The only issues with the story that bothered me in the slightest were: 1) The extremely large cast of characters made me struggle to keep them all straight. 2) The changing points-of-view in the midst of a non-linear timeline made me re-read sections to grasp who was telling the story and when, especially in the beginning of the book. Once I got into the rhythm, it became easier to follow. (These are not reasons to discount the book, merely reasons, for me that I had to work a little harder to immerse myself completely within the world of the story.) 

Nearing the end of the story, I read faster and faster, determined to solve the mystery before it was revealed. While I did guess a couple of elements, I was pleasantly surprised at the final reveals and resolutions. Loose ends were tied up nicely, leaving me quite content. Nicely done, Kit Frick!

I look forward to picking up another one of her books.

Some of my favorite lines from the book:

"She looks like she's been living ten seconds away from tears for months."

"The banister, once a grand thing, is dusty and coated with bird shit."

"She hurries quietly around the side of the estate, into the backyard where the weeds reach up to snag her tights like bony fingers in the moonlight."
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As always, a copy of this book was provided by the author or publisher in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.    

(This was originally scheduled as part of TFFBC's blog tour.) Most of my thoughts over I Killed Zoe Spanos boil down to one word: DAMN. Or... dang.  Maybe, wow? I'm honestly screaming about it right now. My dogs look a little concerned about my well being and at this point, I'm certain I've now woke up nearly every neighbor in the area dead or alive.

Which  isn't a bad thing because everyone needs to read this book immediately, zombie or not, and I'm willing to take one for the team and let everyone know. Join me. It'll be like a gang of werewolves howling at the moon but a little less hairy and the howling is less aggressive. (But still fearful, don't get me wrong. You should absolutely be scared into reading this book.)

Listen, I don't have to change my hobby to 'yelling about I Killed Zoe Spanos into my pillow'--I want to.

On the topic of wants/needs: I definitely need to get my hands on Kit Frick's other books because, wow, this one blow me away. I Killed Zoe Spanos is one of the most dazzling thrillers I've had the pleasure of reading this year and I could not get enough of it. A good thriller makes the wheels of your mind frantically turn and try to piece together the bigger picture--I Killed Zoe Spanos accomplished this immediately and never truly slowed down.

Finishing this book was the only letdown Frick provides readers. Although I wanted to know the resolution to the central mysteries, I Killed Spanos was something I didn't want to end. I highly recommend picking this novel up as quickly as possible!
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Well-written novel with intrigue and mystery.   Well developed characters that keep you guessing about what is happening between then and now.   The story kept me hooked with twists and turns.
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This YA mystery had a great beginning, but fizzled out at the end!

Anna Cicconi is new to Herron Mills when she arrives for her new job as a nanny. She's not in a great headspace because what happened the previous winter, her memory fuzzy and incomplete. Yet strangers are shocked when they meet her, because she looks uncannily like Zoe Spanos, a girl who disappeared on New Years Eve.

I really liked the off-kilter sense of this novel, weaving though Anna's story and the podcast about Zoe Spanos' life and disappearance. I expected greatness as this mystery came to a conclusion, but I was disappointed by what actually happened.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC.
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Overview: Zoe Spanos disappeared from her tiny Hampton's town over winter break. The town can't imagine what happened to her. Zoe was beloved, always a good kid going to an Ivy League, from a perfect family, and was even in a long term, committed relationship. The police decide she must have just run away. When Anna comes to town, everyone looks at her a second too long because she looks just like Zoe. Over the course of the summer spent babysitting for one of the elite, Hampton's families, Anna gets increasingly involved in Zoe's cold case through a podcast produced by a local high schooler. The more she learns about Zoe and the longer she lives in town, the more strange memories come to the surface until she's left scared that she killed Zoe Spanos. The truth is so much more complex than anyone could have expected. Overall: 4

Characters: 4 Our main character in this twisty web of people is Anna. She's at the center of it all whether she's playing the roll of nervous babysitter or someone who just confessed to manslaughter yet is still unsure of her memories. Anna's past has a lot of holes in it from her many nights getting blackout drunk at parties with her friends in Brooklyn. Going to the Hamptons is a way to turn over a new leaf. It's fun to navigate through this small beach town through her eyes as she makes new friends and connections. I loved getting to see her interact with Paisley, the girl she's babysitting. It's clear that there are plenty of gaps from the start, and she's clearly forgetful, but she has these weird echoes of having been all these places before- of having known Zoe. Without the help she needs to piece it together, her panic grows slowly louder as she forms a story in her head that points to her having killed a girl she never met. 
There are so many minor character in this book that work to make the story as twisty as it is, so it's impossible to go over all of them. The major players are Caden, Zoe's boyfriend of over four years who was out of town when she disappeared, Martina, the high school podcast producer who is best friends with Zoe's little sister, Aster, Zoe's sister who never gives quite the right impression, and Max Adler, who gives off bad vibes for no apparent reason. The parents and their lives as well as Anna's friends from Brooklyn contribute to expanding the worlds and all interlock in fascinating ways in the end. Over the course of the book, we solve a couple mysteries, locking these characters into place, figure out Anna's ties to Herron Mills, and even discover the identity of her missing father. 

Plot: 5 This book is a major roller coaster on a variety of levels. Frick is a master at setting up perfect thought paths that get disrupted and don't pan out. She sets up layers of confusion while also putting in careful clues that stand out when you reflect on the book as a whole. It's very carefully plotted and gives reveals that only click into place seconds before the characters announce them. Everything comes to a logical conclusion, even when you're wondering if the book will just take off with a turn towards the paranormal. The book doesn't shy away from firmly establishing characters and place through scenes that usually belong in contemporary novels as we become firmly rooted in Anna's summer of babysitting as one of three storylines. I'm assuming this was a way to build trust between her and the reader before the mystery slides into full swing. While most of the past summer story feels like a breezy contemporary, the flash forwards to juvie,  confessions, and the podcast keep the threatening, questioning, mysterious feelings in the air. 

Writing: 4 The writing style took me a second to get into. The structure she uses is quite complex and can sometimes be confusing. There are the now chapters written in third person that bounce through the aftermath of Anna's confession and reveal twists and turns to complement what we learn in the Then sections. The main storyline is the Then where we meet Anna, in the first person, and go on her summer in the Hamptons. Then there's the podcast transcripts (that are very well done) that give us, and Anna, all the details on Zoe's disappearance that you've been wondering about. At the end, there's also a first person chapter from the killer, though it's slightly confusing because, in the past, first person was only used for Anna. 
Overall, I'd say these three threads were handled very well. All the plot notes hit in the proper places to make all the parts sing in unison. The third person pieces definitely improved as the story went on, but they start out a little clunky. In an attempt to make it seem deeply atmospheric (and pull from the Rebecca inspiration), the writing gets away from Frick a little and almost made me quit with the first chapter. The first person narrative flows much more naturally from the beginning, and the podcast transcripts are built well. The writing eventually becomes something you don't notice anymore, which shows how good the story is, but expect a slow burn on everything getting started and to the action.  It's nearly 400 pages, and you can feel that in the book.
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