True Crime Story: Book summary and reviews of True Crime Story by Joseph Knox

True Crime Story

A Novel

by Joseph Knox

True Crime Story by Joseph Knox X
True Crime Story by Joseph Knox
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  • Published in USA  Dec 2021
    400 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

The #1 International Bestseller!
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, England 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 happens to all the girls who go missing. What happens to the Zoe Nolans 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.

Paperback original in the US.

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Media Reviews

"The impressively twisty plot drops one bombshell revelation after another." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Ingenious... truly immersive: complex, disturbing, unexpectedly funny and very smart."―The Guardian

"Mr. Knox is a fantastic writer. His ambitious fourth novel satirises and celebrates the true-crime genre with glee. True Crime Story, by turns horrific and hilarious, is scandalously entertaining."―The Times (UK)

"The gifted Joseph Knox continues his upwards trajectory with True Crime Story forging something original and innovative."―Financial Times (UK)

"This is one of the most engaging cold-case novels I have read."―Literary Review (UK)

"Reads like a cinematic true crime documentary. Brilliant, compelling and original." —Steve Cavanagh, award-winning author of the Eddie Flynn series

This information about True Crime Story shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

Kathleen Q. (Quincy, MA)

True Crime Story - Reads like true crime
This book was excellent! The style of writing was nothing like I've read before. It reads like the transcript to an interrogation and investigation. Clear and concise so I never had to go back and re-read anything. It was done so well I had to keep reminding myself that it was actually fiction and not a true crime investigation. This book is excellent for anyone who is a crime or true crime fanatic.
Some interesting twists that kept me reading far into the night. I highly recommend this book, and hope there are more to come from this author!

Linda W. (Arlington, TX)

The cover says True Crime Story A Novel, but on the first pages the author and publisher present this not as a novel but as transcripts about a true crime. So which it it?
By page 30, I didn't care, I just wanted to keep reading.
Zoe disappears from a party in her third month at university, but this isn't a police procedural. The plot unfolds as transcripts of interviews with Zoe's friends and family, telling what they know or thought about events. Each one has their own distinct voice and they all gossip and criticize each other, so the reader gets to know them well. It's a different, fascinating approach to a mystery, and I couldn't put it down.

Amy P. (Boulder City, NV)

True or Story?
Is it true? Or is it just a story? Two questions I asked myself repeatedly as I read and reread this ARC. This is one of the best books I've recently read, and I found its unique format very engaging. Presented in a series of interview, Knox invites the reader to participate in gleaning clues and sorting through red herrings. The characters were well developed, and although I thought some were truly unlikable and unreliable, they were certainly believable. When the author Knox enters the story as a consultant, fact and fiction are blended and blurred, and the reader is left wondering yet again…Is it true or "just a story"? Puzzle fans will love it!

Wendy A. (Durham, NC)

True Crime- - fact or fiction
It's a unique format for a "true crime" novel. It almost drove me crazy at the start. I felt like I needed a whiteboard or a cork board to keep track of all the personalities interviewed. We will never know if the transcriptions are authentic or a little bit of fiction. So, I asked myself if any harm had been done to the reader if the transcripts were, indeed, fictionalized. But in the end, who cares? It was a great read, albeit a slow page-turner, as I was trying to see through the interviewees. I re-read a lot of the entries a second, even a third time. So, if you are a fan of crime novels, try your hand at this one! You won't see it coming! Great book club exercise if you use a whiteboard or cork board!

Patricia T. (Fallbrook, CA)

True Crime Story, by Joseph Knox
I have just finished reading True Crime Story. Gripping! It is set at Manchester University in Northern England, and starts innocuously enough with a student disappearance just before the Christmas holidays. Not necessarily a major crime, and the Police are informed, but this is not a standard police procedural, and the missing girl, Zoe Nolan, is not quite the ordinary student she seemed to be at first. She also has an identical twin, also a student at the Uni, which of course complicates things.

The book progresses by means of a series of interviews with all her friends, fellow students, family, and staff, brilliantly edited and arranged to provoke doubts, and send the reader off in all directions. Gradually all the characters reveal themselves with their own words. Who knew what, and when. Will she ever turn up?

This is one of the most original books I have read in a long time, because of the format. It is different, feels real, as if it could actually be a "True Crime Story". Can't wait to read Sirens, the author's debut novel, don't know how I missed it.

Susan S. (Lafayette, CA)

Very clever mystery
This is a compelling mystery in which an attempt is being made to solve the question of what happened to a young woman who disappeared 10 years previously. It is told almost exclusively via interviews with various people who knew her. One thing I really liked is that I was not actually certain that all of the interviewees were telling the truth, and furthermore, assumptions I made about who might be lying and who might not be turned out to be wrong for several characters. It is very cleverly constructed, and once I found out what the actual solution was, I wanted to go back and read some parts again, knowing now where I had been misled. 

...13 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Joseph Knox Author Biography

Joseph Knox was born and raised in and around Stoke and Manchester, where he worked in bars and bookshops before moving to London. He reads, writes, and runs compulsively. His novels have been translated into 14 languages.

Author Interview
Link to Joseph Knox's Website

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