In the early hours of Saturday 17 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.
The first thing I need to say about True Crime Story is that I spent the first quarter of it trying to work out if it was true or not. It is so realistic, including photographs, descriptions of the area where Zoe Nolan lived and studied and the author’s inclusion of himself as a character. I was immediately drawn into Zoe’s story and I felt I was living and breathing it as I read. I was desperate to know what had happened on the night Zoe disappeared.
The format of True Crime Story is that of interviews. This makes it very easy to read, but also gives us a great deal of insight into the people in Zoe’s life. I really enjoyed reading as we got deeper into the story and learnt more about the secrets both Zoe and her friends and family were keeping, their relationships with each other and their part in the events of the night Zoe went missing. I admired Knox’s intelligent writing so much and loved the way he gradually pieced the story together, whilst giving the reader the opportunity to think about their own theories.
I obviously don’t want to say too much about the ending, but I found it poignant and loved that I was made to think until the very end. True Crime Story is a unique book and it will stand out for me for some time to come.
True Crime Story is available from Amazon.