True Crime Story By Joseph Knox

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True Crime Story: A Novel By Joseph Knox

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Book/Novel Author: Joseph Knox

Book/Novel Title: True Crime Story

 

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“Cleverly blending the real and imagined worlds until the reader can’t differentiate the two, Knox has created a twisty, turny thriller that cuts through the heart of the modern true crime fascination, all while keeping us enraptured by it.”—BuzzFeedTHE #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 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.Praise for True Crime Story:”Stunningly unique…For fans of stories with a little something extra, this book is set up like an oral history, complete with emails, newspaper clippings and photos that propel the story all the way to a shocking and satisfying conclusion.”—Newsweek”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)
True Crime Story is an edgy, intense mystery that introduces us to the tenacious writer Evelyn Mitchell as she endeavours to solve the cold case of missing nineteen-year-old Manchester University student, Zoe Nolan, by interviewing her old friends, roommates, and family and with the occasional support of fellow writer Joseph Knox, seven years after she vanished one night without a trace. The writing style is calculated and unconventional. The characters are consumed, impressionable, impulsive, and flawed. And the plot, using a past/present, back-and-forth style and told from multiple POVs, builds nicely to create just the right amount of tension and suspense, as it unravels all the manipulative personalities, duplicitous actions, questionable motivations, and complex relationships within it. So I’m not such whether to be incredibly impressed with Knox for his ability to create and compose this story, and of course for his good taste in lead characters’ names, or totally unnerved that he actually thought this whole thing up and was able to keep it all straight. That takes some serious skill. True Crime Story is creative, unique, mind-blowing, and without a doubt, a brilliantly crafted story that I knew from the very first page was fiction but still went to Google at least three times searching for more information on the victim of this crime. Honestly, this book needs to be read to be truly appreciated, and I challenge you to read it and not search the internet at least once for the unfortunate “Zoe Nolan.”
True Crime is a genre I read often, but I could not get into this book. Knox chose to use an interview type writing style which I found distracting. Also, I was only occasionally able to pickup the book and found that between these two things I was not able to follow the story. I ended up not finishing the book. If someone is curious about the story, has some understanding of what happened, or does not mind the writing style they would probably be fine reading the book. I may come back to it at another time. I received a free copy through the Early Reads program
I liked this book. I am more than willing to try just about any audiobook that features a full cast. I just really enjoy the experience of listening to full cast bring a story to life. As soon as I heard about this book, I was more than ready to give it a listen and I found it to be quite entertaining. This book explores the disappearance of Zoe Nolan. Writer Evelyn Mitchell is looking into what really happened to Zoe with the hopes of putting everything together for a book. She discusses her progress with her friend Joseph Know who is also a writer. We hear from a lot of key individuals that might hold some information as to what really happened to Zoe all those years earlier. Zoe was a new college student enjoying herself at school but there were some strange things that happened just before she disappeared. I really think that this story is meant to be experienced in audio. I actually could not imagine reading the back and forth exchanges between the authors or other characters and enjoying them to the same extent that I did in audio. I think that each of the voice actors did a great job in bringing their character and this story to life. I think that the narrators were able to add a lot of excitement and emotion to the story through their narration. I would recommend this book to others. I thought that the mystery of what happened to Zoe was very intriguing and I loved that the story kept me guessing until the very end. I would definitely read more of this author’s work in the future. I received a review copy of this audiobook from Recorded Books.
Two point five stars. So the book starts a little slow. The entire thing is told in alternating viewpoints and it takes awhile to feel the flow of it. It’s about a missing 19 year old named Zoe, most of the alternative voices are her family members (her twin, her parents) and her new college friends. Midway through the book is a twist that is provocative, interesting, and dropped immediately, never to be mentioned again. I forgave this, because I was still interested in the central mystery and characters. But man, that ending. It’s super rushed, in a book that is anything but, when we learn that So and so is the murderer, and the reasoning behind why they did it, and why this is is a surprise to the reader (for more than one reason), makes vanishingly little sense. It feels like the author was coming up against a book deadline and picked a name out of a hat and chose that person to be the Big Bad. Many other threads were left dangling. And I cannot overstate how abrupt the ending is, the who, where, when, why, how of it all. The book in totality is not a bad book, but I find it hard to overlook the “twist”(?) if one can call it that. Read at your own peril. Or, decide in your head who did it, and just don’t finish the book. You’ll be happier for it.
Another reviewer wondered if their Kindle upload was the same as everyone else’s. Their’s must have been the same one I checked out of the library. This is the case of an author taking a sliver of an idea and stretching it out as long as possible to make it as dull as possible. No shockers, twists, turns or aha moments.
The cleverness in Knox’s previous crime books degenerated into outlandish for me. They were good but predictably grim in a ‘look at me’ humorous way. This book on the other hand is deliberately contrived and genres exploited with a deft style that snared my attention. The ending is so wrapped up, it’s a gift done right.

 

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