Title: True Crime Story
Author: Joseph Knox
Publisher: Transworld Books
On the outside, Manchester University student Zoe Nolan was blessed: intelligent, kind, popular and extremely talented. But then one night she goes missing. She is presumed dead but no body is found.
Years later, Evelyn, a young writer starts looking into that fateful night, and begins to uncover the sinister secrets that have kept Zoe’s disappearance a mystery. As she records the testimonies of those who knew Zoe, she starts to build up a picture of a group of friends who loved and lied to hide the truth.
But as every true crime story tells us, the truth always comes out. Whatever the cost…
True Crime Story is a book I absolutely galloped through because it’s just so damn easy and intriguing to read! The story involves interviews and pieces of evidence intertwined to create a ‘true crime’-style book about a missing student, Zoe. The mystery in question was definitely made up (I did have to double-check this near the start, just because I started to doubt myself – it all felt rather real!) but the story works at convincing you that you could be reading a true crime book about the investigation – the only clue that it isn’t is the fact that the evidence and other information is presented as Joseph Knox talking to investigative journalist Evelyn Mitchell, who was working on writing the book and interviewed most of the people appearing in it.
I loved the way that, in reading this book, you can look out for little inconsistencies in people’s stories, and clues peppered along the way as to who may have been responsible for Zoe’s disappearance. There’s lots of twists and plenty of secrets among the cast of Zoe’s family, friends and acquaintances, and I loved reading this book which coils around it all, trying to make some sort of sense of it all!
I was really gripped by the subject matter, the way it was written – I thought the dominance of interview-style passages, which are very much written as they were spoken, would irritate me but I found it very easy and enjoyable to read – and the fact that not everything is overexplained or tied up neatly at the end… much like real life. However, there’s also just the right amount of threads brought together at the end to leave me feeling satisfied and impressed by this atmospheric, gripping novel.
Many thanks to the publisher, Transworld Books, for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest review.