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What happens to all the girls who go missing?
The thrilling story of a university student's sudden disappearance, the woman who became obsessed with her case, and the crime writer who uncovered the chilling truth about what happened...
In 2011, Zoe Nolan walked out of her dormitory in Manchester and was never seen or heard from again. Her case went cold. Her story was sad, certainly, but hardly sensational, crime writer Joseph Knox thought. He wouldn't have given her any more thought were it not for his friend, Evelyn Mitchell. Another writer struggling to come up with a new idea, Evelyn was wondering just what happened to all the girls who go missing. What happened to the Zoe Nolan's of the world?
Evelyn began investigating herself, interviewing Zoe's family and friends, and emailing Joseph with chapters of the book she was writing with her findings. Uneasy with the corkscrew twists and turns, Joseph Knox embedded himself in the case, ultimately discovering a truth more tragic and shocking than he could have possibly imagined...
Just remember: Everything you read is fiction.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 93 members
Joseph Knox is always a must read for me. one of the most interesting and original voice in the thriller genre in the recent years, a genre that unfortunately often lack originality. This book is his best so far, young writer, will continue improving I'm sure, great great characters, strong story, awesome writing. I highly recommend reading this book and this author in general!
True Crime Story is a clever, fictional whodunnit written as if it is a true crime story. Made up of transcripts of interviews, readers will have to remind themselves that the story of the missing Zoe Nolan is, in fact, made-up! Joseph Knox's writing is fantastic and will draw readers into this addictive plot that will keep readers guessing. Filled with several suspects and plenty of twists, the story will have you hooked! Highly recommended!
Taking a page from Daisy Jones and the Six, a rockumentary about a made-up rock band, Knox’s latest novel, True Crime Story, uses the documentary journalism style to report about a missing college girl. If you pick this up expecting something like the fourth Aiden Watts gritty police novel, be prepared for something completely different, a burst of creative energy in a totally different direction. The story is still dark and deadly and still takes place in Manchester, England, but that’s where the resemblance ends. Here, the story is told in a series of short, punchy interview excerpts from the survivors of Zoe’s disappearance, including that of Kimberley, her twin sister and flatmate, her ex boyfriend Andrew Flowers, her other flatmates, her parents, the investigating detective, and other hangers-on. As you hear them talk to the erstwhile interviewer, Evelyn, who also exchanges emails with our author, Joseph Knox, the reader isn’t explicitly told whether it’s fact or fiction or whether this is yet another well-publicized case of a missing girl. All the principals in the story are at each other’s throats, blaming each other, and the internet is outing these people too. As the story goes on, we are heading done different directions, chasing one red herring after another from the creepy professor who dates and dumps his students to the creepy father who favors Zoe over Kim, to the jealous less-well-known twin sister, to the missing underwear, to the exposed sex tape, to the sinister shadow, to the white van that kidnapped Kim. At first, it seems like a sordid nasty soap opera that Zoe left behind, but eventually every minor detail becomes important. The interview technique of telling this story works well because all these small things are how people remember things and each person has a distinctly different perspective. All in all, well done.
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. This was very good. I read it all in one sitting, and while it perhaps sagged a little in the middle, it really kept me guessing throughout. I wasn't quite sure of the value of the author inserting himself into the story, although it did add another layer of potential unreliability. The characters depicted in the 'extracts from transcripts' were clearly distinguishable from one another and I loved Lui Wai, who was in HR with 'at least seven' people below her. I gather this is very different from this author's other works, which I haven't read, but I recommend this one highly.
Such a fascinating book. This was really good and I had to keep reminding myself that it's fiction. Or is it? So well written and so compelling!
Aspiring writer Evelyn is writing a book investigating the unsolved disappearance of student Zoe Nolan some years before. She seeks feedback from her friend and mentor, published crime author Joseph Knox- and here is the twist. Knox is a real person and author of this (fictional) account of how she uncovers what happened to the missing girl. She interviews Zoe’s friends, parents and others involved with the case, but as she gets closer to the truth, it becomes apparent that she herself could be in great danger. I really enjoyed the unusual style of this novel, which uses transcripts of interviews to explain the events leading up Zoe walking out of a party at her student flat and never being seen again. The characters all have their own (different) interpretations of what was going on, and all have their own motivations and prejudices, and some are obviously more reliable than others. I was gripped and kept changing my mind about what had happened to Zoe and why as more pieces of the puzzle are revealed. The characters, although largely unlikeable, are convincing and layered, and the seamier side of student life and relationships is well portrayed. Underlying the narrative is a kind of sly humour, despite the often dark subject matter. It has a freshness and vitality that makes it stand out from others in the crime/psychological thriller genre. Recommended.
This book is completely engaging and full of twists and turns that slowly draw you in until you’re firmly clenched in the story’s grasp. It’s the type of book where you read a few chapters and then you look up and you’re suddenly sitting in a dark room with a gross, cold mug of tea sitting on the table in front of you because somehow hours past without you noticing. Told primarily in the format of interviews and emails between characters (think, a murdery ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’), this is a quick read. It was a bit slow to start, but I was drawn in just from the prologue to the point where I actually googled ‘Zoe Nolan missing’ because I wasn’t sure if she was just a character or if she was actually a real person who had been adapted into novel form.
What a captivating, twisty read! Well written, unique, fast paced, and tense! Had a hard time putting it down, which I loved! Uniquely written, with such a charismatic style that really engaged me! What else can I say, but read it! Highly, highly recommend!
I didn't expect to like the meta-meta-narrative, but as the meta-narrative grew on me, so did the story about the story telling a story. Extremely good twists. The ending of the narrative was eye-popping, but the ending of the meta-narrative fell a bit flat. Still. I was totally hooked; making every single character, including the meta-narrator (who is also sometimes the narrator?) and the meta-meta-narrator (same), totally 100 percent unreliable and yet still compelling enough to want to listen to and understand and use their interviews — molded into narratives by two unreliable narrators! — to make sense of the mystery was pretty clever. It really does your head, changing your trust in characters from chapter to chapter, making one and then another seem suspicious. Messing about with the timelines so you never feel like you fully grasp what's happened. Very well done, and I never though, you know, ugh, another Rashomon-in-[random location/time] while reading it. Oh and the atmosphere! Totally creepy and horrible the entire time, like the constant fog? The hideous building? The timeframe! Just really good. The sort of epilogue is a little pat, a little "congratulations on your happy ending, I guess?" But never mind that, it doesn't at all detract from a really unsettling, brain-bending crime thriller. It rewards a close and critical read, but it also puts you off with its pacing and the mounting certainty that you're nearly at the Big Reveal, so if you can at all resist that pull, read carefully, think critically, and enjoy the engaging, upsetting story.
ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT! This is in my top 10 ever for sure and tied for best book this year. What a creative way to tell a story and boy was it effective. My heart was pounding the whole time. Just when you think you know what’s happening everything shifts. This book preyed on my darkest fears being female. The players were complex and so well developed. I am literally at a loss for words. The realism was phenomenal. The storytelling was some of the best I’ve read. This is hands down the most creatively written novel I have ever read and it made this book simply astounding. Fiction and Non Fiction crime lovers, read this book. It’s amazing. Bonus stars for sure.
This fictional novel presents itself as a "true crime story" about the disappearance of college student Zoe Nolan. It's also a bit of a mystery wrapped in a mystery as author Joseph Knox shares what author Evelyn Mitchell has written about Zoe's disappearance and her interviews with Zoe's friends and family. While in the course of her investigation, Evelyn is found dead in her car. Joseph completes Evelyn's research and the book with the reveal of what really happened to Zoe in 2011. The story is told through interviews with Zoe's friends and acquaintances, as well as emails between the two authors. I recommend this book to any fans of true crime or mystery. Thank you to NetGalley and Doubleday for the arc of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This. Just wow. This book pulled me in from page 1. It was written in such an engaging way - I thought the continuous individual commentary versus a true narrative would have been jarring and difficult to read but somehow it’s what made this amazing. The author did an excellent job bringing this book to life in lieu of the craziness described within. 10/10 recommend. Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review
At the risk of over-hyping this book: I am obsessed. This book was insane in the best way possible. If you are someone who loves true crime podcasts (shout out to my fellow murderinos and crime junkies) or Investigation Discovery documentaries, I can confidently say this book is worth picking up This book is crime fiction pitched as an actual true crime story. Author, Joesph Knox picks up where his friend, Evelyn, left off investigating the disappearance of Zoe Nolan from her university. The true uniqueness of this book is in the format. The entirety of the book is a combination of email exchanges between Joseph and Evelyn, as well as interviews from Zoe’s friends and family recounting the events before and after her disappearance. If you made a Dateline Secrets Uncovered episode into a book, this would be it. This definitely makes the list of my most memorable reads this year!
In the vein of Daisy Jones and the Six, True Crime Story utilizes an interview compilation style to tell the story of the disappearance of Zoe Nolan, who was a 19-year-old college student in Manchester. We hear from Zoe's friends, family, and acquaintances; including her twin sister, Kimberly; her ex-boyfriend, Andrew, and her friends, Liu, Fintan, and Jai. Joseph Knox, the author, is part of the story as he corresponds with Evelyn, an author friend using the interviews for her new book about Zoe. I'll admit, this took me quite a while to finish, because I really struggled to get into the story initially. Even now, I really think that this story is going to be even better as an audiobook. I had a similar issue with Daisy Jones, which lead to me switching to its audio version. I think audiobooks lend themselves really well to books in interview formats, because hearing different voices for the different interviewees can help distinguish and humanize their characters. Initial struggles aside, this ended up being a 5-star read for me. It has been a long time since I've read a mystery/thriller whose 'big reveal' has genuinely shocked me, but True Crime Story did just that. I sat in bed repeatedly saying "what the h*ll" , as everything fell into place. It being the first novel in a while where I didn't predict at least part of the reveal means it's a big win in my book (no pun intended). Also, many aspects of the story were very atmospheric and left me feeling creeped out, which I really enjoyed. I highly recommend this, especially for those who are fans of podcasts/true crime, or for anyone who wants to be left saying "what just happened" by the last page. Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for a chance to read this!
Wildly original and page-turning, this story is one that will make readers forget that it's fiction, and it's a must read for those who follow true crime and those who are hesitant about the genre alike. There are plenty of moments to keep readers guessing and- if they are anything like me- gasping with the cleverly plotted details and reveals. It's always fascinating when authors effectively write themselves into their fictional stories (such as with Anthony Horowitz's Hawthorne and Horowitz books), and I think Joseph Knox handled this brilliantly. With true crime having been having such a major and impactful moment over the last 5ish years, it's interesting to see all the different ways this is being used in fiction, and this story is one of the more effective uses I've seen.
A wild ride of a true crime book. The story is told in an unique style using interviews to provide the details of the story. The interaction of all the individuals is outstanding and the plot will hold your attention. If you enjoy true crime novels, this is a must read! Thank you to #NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Thank you to the publishers at Sourcebooks Landmark and Netgalley for this e-ARC of True Crime Story. All I can say is, wow! What an incredible and unique thriller novel! True Crime Story revolves around missing 19 year old, Zoe Nolan. After disappearing from the rooftop of her university housing during a fire alarm, nobody has seen her since. Evelyn, a small time writer, decides to dive back in about 7 or so years after the disappearance to see if she can find any new leads. As she interviews all of Zoe’s friends, family, acquaintances and more, we begin to see the truth slowly leaking out. What happened to Zoe? When I first began reading True Crime Story, I honestly felt confused. “I thought this was fiction?” That is how convincing Knox is at making Zoe Nolan feel like a real life case of a missing girl in the UK. As I began to read further, I really enjoyed the overall set up of this novel. The interviews felt unique to each character, and I enjoyed the back and forth via email between Knox and his friend, Evelyn. While we never get an answer about what exactly happened to Zoe, we get a surprise, twisted ending that I never saw coming and absolutely loved! Seriously, 5+ stars! Go out and preorder this now! You won’t regret it! True Crime Story releases December 7th!
"What happens to all the girls who go missing?" A young woman goes missing from a college party never to be heard from again. The case makes headlines as these type of stories usually do. But what happens when leads dry up and the public begins to forget? A story is still there. A person is still missing. When a writer begins to look into the case, a bigger picture slowly emerges. A picture that darkens the deeper she digs. With her true crime writer friend as support will the truth ever be discovered? True Crime Story is a thriller/murder mystery written as a nonfiction true crime book. The narration is written as excerpts from interviews and emails between the two writers. In this creative way we get snippets of what occurred before and after Zoe Nolan goes missing. But how much of it is accurate? Are people telling the truth and are they right about the things they say? People love to discuss and dissect cases and I feel the storytelling reflects that. Despite the story being told through interviews we get a clear picture of the characters and the things that also were happening to them at the time. I grew to care about several of the characters. There are several people to be suspicious of but there were a few people that I never suspected. Appearances can be deceiving and I feel like it was done well, not just to throw the reader off but as a reflection of real life. The story has a lot of sadness. There are a lot of creepy moments. Although the plot is about Zoe going missing we never get a great sense of her as a person. Some people might not like that but I think it's realistic for this type of novel. In real life we don't know anything about victims until the crime has already happened and even then we can only know so much. Also the ending doesn't give us much clarity as to the killer's motive. I don't think we need it and it's great that the focus was not on them. They shouldn't get all of the attention. True Crime Story was a quick read. I loved the writing. I think the author is very talented and I will check out more of his work. Many thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark for the digital copy!
I’m such a fan of unique and uncommon narration formats so when I began 𝑇𝑟𝑢𝑒 𝐶𝑟𝑖𝑚𝑒 𝑆𝑡𝑜𝑟𝑦 by @knobbth I was so excited that the whole story is given to us in the format of transcripts! I love the whole documentary/podcast feel this story gives us through the narration of interviews of characters. This is probably one of the most creative books I’ve ever read. Between the authors writing style, the way the author concocted the story, and lastly how he incorporates himself in this story easily makes this a five star read. Although this is your typical “beautiful college girl goes missing” story, it turns out not to be so typical -at all. The characters are disturbing, unlikable and are all quite questionable in regards to their relationships with missing character Zoe. There are so many twists & turns you won’t see coming, and once you start this, be prepared to be handcuffed to your book because you won’t be able to put it down! MINI SYNOPSIS: “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.”
5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 I would definitely be recommending this book to readers on my Instagram bookstagram account.
So, there's a new category or type of book that is being written. This book by Joseph Knox and Chasing the Boogeyman by Richard Chizmar are the two perfect examples. They take fiction and write it in such a way, mixing in real facts, blending in photos, real life locations, interviews, newspapers, real people...so many actual details that it's hard to know where the line is. It's hard to know what is real. True Crime Story is the story of Zoe Nolan. It's also the story of Kim Nolan, of Andrew Flowers, of Joseph Knox, of Evelyn Mitchell. It's about desire and ambition, it's about friendship, sisters, relationships, music, sex, college, money, love, family, identity, growing up. It's secrets buried, it's secrets uncovered. I loved this book and hope that this is just the beginning of book of this nature. Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book.
True crime stories make me feel like I'm in Rear Window or driving past a car accident. You want to look away but you just can't. This successfully kept me from keeping my eyes on the road. My advice: don't read at night.
Wow. What a roller coaster read. Is it fact or fiction? I absolutely loved the format of each friend/family member/acquaintance of the victim giving their versions of what transpired. As you move through the book, you get more and more info from each one that starts to shock you. You think you know them then wham. This is written so well that a little bit in I started googling to find the Zoe Nolan case. Generally, my research skills are excellent, but I couldn't find a thing. But then I found an article about the book that explained the truth and I had to laugh at myself. I've read another book by Joseph Knox and he is an incredibly good writer. He writes like someone with much more experience than his age. Seeing his picture the first time blew my mind. He's such a seasoned author, I expected someone in his 40s at least. But I'm happy he's so young as that means we'll get so many more books out of him. Excellent book. Excellent author.
I love a good mystery and will admit to getting caught up real life ones. So when I came across True Crime Story on NetGalley I couldn’t recall resist requesting it. Thank you Sourcebooks for my DRC. What a story this book tells. Written as if it was a real life crime was brilliant. I especially love the fact that an “updated” Version was being presented and I was fascinated by the reason why. The characters were not likable in my view and yet I couldn’t stop reading about them and their relationships with each other. Told from alternating points of view through author interviews, the plot kept me flying through the book. I needed to know what really happened and the story continually evolved so you never quite knew who to believe. This was a 4 and 1/2 star read for me. I was engrossed in the story and surprised by the twist at the end. I would definitely recommend picking this one up!
True Crime Story was definitely better than I expected!! I really loved the concept of having a fiction book read like a true crime book. When I first started reading I had to pause and make sure I wasn’t reading nonfiction!! I will say I feel like I may have enjoyed this one more if I would have done the audio. Still really enjoyed the concept and story line. The twists definitely kept me guessing and I was surprised by the ending. 4.5 stars!
Review Book: True Crime Story Author: Joseph Knox 🅡🅔🅥🅘🅔🅦: True Crime Story is a novel, that seems like a book of non-fiction. It follows the disappearance of Zoe Nolan after a Christmas party at her college flat. Eight years later, a writer called Evelyn starts to investigate. During her investigation, she reaches out to Joseph Knox for assistance with her book. Thus making it a story, within a story. The story is told via transcripts and email exchanges, which unravel the truth of Zoe’s disappearance. For this book, I had both the hard copy and listened to the audiobook at the same time. I thought the idea behind the book was interesting. Listening to the audiobook reminded me of a scripted true crime podcast. The book was well written and had lots of twists and turns, with an end that I didn’t see coming. I received an ARC and ALC in exchange for an honest review.
TRUE CRIME STORY by Joseph Knox Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for the e-arc! This one is out 12/7! At first, I really disliked this book and wanted to DNF. However, as I read, I realized how deeply woven the story was and I became more and more impressed. I'm so glad I kept going! Zoe goes missing during her first semester of college, vanishing from her college dorm and is never seen again. Years later, Evelyn is writing a true-crime book about her disappearance, interviewing her twin sister Kim, roommates, and other people around her. The more that everyone shares, the more questions Evelyn and Joseph have. This book is fiction...but nonfiction... but fiction? I honestly still am not sure. I went to Goodreads to check and eventually messaged someone else who was reading it too because it was mind-bending. Joseph includes himself as a character, references the publisher, and more that really made me think it was nonfiction. The way the interviews were written, the photos he included, and the emails back and forth... they were all brilliant. As I mentioned, I was really not into this book to start. It took me a little while to get into the way it was written, but once I did I was so invested in Zoe's story. It reminded me a little of IN MY DREAMS I HOLD A KNIFE, in that it is something that happened in college and we're hearing about interviews many years later. The ending was a little quick... I thought it was building up to being someone else and was angry at that character, so I was a little unsatisfied when it was someone else / how the crime was solved. If you like thrillers, true crime, or collegiate suspense, add this one to your list!