Doubleday UK 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, December 17, 2011, Zoe Nolan, a 19-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.
True Crime Story charts a breathless and bewildering eight-year investigation into the seemingly unexplainable disappearance of Zoe Nolan, examining the complicity of her friends and family, as well as that of its failing author, who’s just clamouring to know more. But who can tell what is fact and what is fiction?
As soon as I heard about True Crime Story it hugely appealed and I made a cheeky but rare request for an early copy of this book, which Alison Barrow very, very kindly agreed to. Thank you so much Alison!
Starting this book I was immediately immersed, struck by the original and varied format of the writing which took the form predominantly of email correspondance and interview style answers, although some news reports sneeked in, among other mediums which all added to the intrigue. The repondents quickly became familiar, their voices clear and unique as they reponded to undisclosed questions. The responses were ordered so it read like a conversation although all of the interviews were conducted individually.
Basically this is a fantastic story about a missing girl, 8 years later a struggling author is working on her second book a true crime story, she is a fan of and friends with author Joseph Knox who places himself in the story as correspondent, advisor, mentor and friend to author Evelyn. The girl in question Zoe Nolan has never been found, her disappearance remains a mystery but what follows is a compelling story as Evelyn shares her drafts with Joseph, he correspondends by email and the story unfolds, with many interviews reflecting back on what happened at the time of the disappearance while others are more recent, looking at new information and interviews.
I loved the play with truth and fiction which is heightened by the role of the author in the story, the book opens with a note from the publisher followed by an authors note and it is immediately clear that there is much more to this story than initially suggested. Very fast paced, genuinely hard to put down, original, sharp and twisty I have seen others say this is one of their best reads of the year so far, and truthfully that is a statment that I would be hard pressed to disagree with.
Published today this is highly, higly recommended, some pretty editions on sale out there so really, what are you waiting for?
About the Author
Joseph Knox was born and raised in and around Stoke and Manchester, where he worked in bars and bookshops before moving to London. He runs, writes and reads compulsively. His debut novel Sirens was a bestseller and has been translated into eighteen languages. The Smiling Man and The Sleepwalker are the second and third books in his bestselling and highly praised Aidan Waits series.