TRUE CRIME STORY By Joseph Knox @penguinrandom @josephknox__ #TrueCrimeStory

Available now | Hardcover | eBook | audiobook |Published by Penguin Random House UK


‘What happens to those girls who go missing? What happens to the Zoe Nolan’s of the world?’

In the early hours of Saturday 17th 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.


All I can say about this book is WOW, I was sucked in, as I started reading I actually believed this was a true story, I didn’t want to google it because I didn’t want to spoil the story. But as I finished the book I sat silent for a while contemplating what I had read, stunned by events towards the end. I thought I would have a look to see if there were any updates. Afterwards I felt a little silly as all I saw was the mention of this book. Although I don’t think I was the only one who thought it was true. Having read previous work by Joseph Knox I think the fact this was so different I believed he had stepped in to write something based on truth. But then to me that just shows how real the story felt. It could have been a true crime documentary.

Zoe Nolan went missing in December of 2011 in Manchester. She simply vanished, she had gone to the roof of the block of apartments she was living in with her twin sister Kimberley, Liu Wai, Jai Mahmoud, her boyfriend Andrew Flowers. What happened that night that made Zoe go to the roof?

Her father had wanted her to study at the School of Vocal Studies and Opera at the Royal Northern College of Music. But Zoe was told she wasn’t good enough. For years her father had pushed her singing believing she could do what he hadn’t managed to do. When that didn’t work out she ended up at Manchester University the same place as her twin, much to Kimberley’s disgust.

The story is told through initial emails between Joseph Knox and Evelyn Mitchell another writer who had met Joseph at a book signing he was doing. They had been out for the odd coffee together and become friends, when Evelyn started the book she asked Joseph occasionally for input, and later asked him to look after manuscripts. Especially when she started getting strange phone calls in the night, and callers at her door. Was she close to finding something out? Joseph asked her if it was worth it, but Evelyn was like a dog with a bone, determined to get to the bottom of what happened to Zoe, as she finds other incidents that could also be linked.

There are characters who are not at all nice and some you really feel for, I especially felt sorry for Kimberley, as she had spent most of her life being second best to her twin sister.

Evelyn recorded interviews she did with Zoe’s friends. Her parents, but as she started directing some of it and putting it all together in the order events were meant to have happened some of the stories don’t add up. Who is lying and who is telling the truth? Can Evelyn find out what happened to Zoe? Who is behind everything? Can you work it out as you read through the interviews?

I didn’t get it right. I thought I had an idea of who was behind some things but I was so wrong, and so blindsided by the answers.

This is a book I highly recommend to true crime lovers as well as crime fiction lovers, once you start you won’t be able to put the book down until you finish.

I’m looking forward to see what Joseph writes next. This is definitely worth ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ go and grab yourself a copy now.

I was lucky to win a signed ARC from Joseph Knox on Twitter, all opinions on this are my own and not influenced in any way.


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 the series.

True Crime Story is a stand-alone.

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