True Crime Story by Joseph Knox

Publication Date: 17th June 2021

‘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.

Joseph Knox was born and raised in and around Stoke-On-Trent and Manchester, where he worked in bars and bookshops before moving to London. He runs, writes and reads compulsively.

Sirens, his debut novel, was a Sunday Times bestseller, and his work has now been translated into 18 languages.

The Sleepwalker, his third novel, was released in July, 2019.

My Review:

This is my first book by Joseph Knox and I was lucky enough to get an ARC digital copy from Netgalley, however when Anne Cater of Random Things Tours asked if I wanted to take part in the blogtour I said YES, but can I please have the audio version as I am a recent convert to podcasts and true crime on audible.

First and most importantly do NOT do what I did after the first chapter which is GOOGLE the book, the author and the story, just be patient and go along for the journey because this book is one hell of a ride.

True Crime Story is a very clever book consisting of multiple narrators retracing the steps of young Zoe Nolan. A 19 year old Manchester University Student who literally disappeared into the night on 17th December (which is also my birthday). Author Joseph Knox and his friend Evelyn Mitchell slowly and painstakingly piece together the fragments of her life leading up to her disappearance interviewing her friends, family and University lecturers.

If you love podcasts and true crime then this is the next book for you. I couldn’t stop listening to this and hearing Zoe’s twin sister Kim’s tell the listener about living in the shadow of her more beautiful, more talented favoured sister was really heart-breaking.

Throughout the narrative, I was convinced I knew why and how Zoe disappeared, except after every other chapter I was changing my mind, which shows the ingenious talent of Joseph Knox and his complex plotting and storytelling.

This really is an enjoyable and addictive book which I thoroughly recommend.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Riveting and relentless. A unique story, brilliantly told” TERRY HAYES (Author of I AM PILGRIM)

“Reads like a cinematic true crime documentary. Brilliant, compelling and original.” STEVE CAVANAGH

“Highly original and mischievous novel – a complete triumph.” JOHN BOYNE

“Absolutely brilliant. I think it’s a game-changer.” MARTYN WAITES

Pure genius – all the things you want a crime novel to be, also hilarious. I love it.” JANE CASEY

“WOW! This is a work of outstanding and staggering genius! You always get beautiful prose and a crackling plot from Mr Knox. But this has extra madness. It’s the most original book I’ve read in ages.”

“Phenomenal. One of the most original thrillers I’ve read in years, perhaps ever. A gritty, twisted murder mystery told in the unique style of a true crime account. I’ve rarely raced through a book so fast. I’m just gutted that it’s probably ruined me for thrillers for a good long while! Absolutely remarkable.”

“Totally gripping, original, and white- hot suspenseful.” ROBERT CRAIS

“An audacious idea, ingeniously executed.” SARAH HILARY  

“Dark, seedy, and not to be trusted, and that’s just the character Joseph Knox, written by Joseph Knox! This is a very clever book indeed. Fiction so convincingly written as true crime that I ended up googling the victim just to check I hadn’t got the wrong end of the stick.” JACK GRIMWOOD (aka JOHN COURTNEY GRIMWOOD)

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