Joseph Knox devises a new brand of thriller fiction in his newest release True Crime Story. The Guardian called it “ingenious … truly immersive: complex, disturbing, unexpectedly funny, and very smart.” I couldn’t agree more. Knox has created a metafictional “true crime” novel that will send his readers into a spiral of consumption.

The Plot

Set in Manchester, England, True Crime Story follows two writers – a one Evelyn Mitchell and a Joseph Knox – who create a true crime book from interviews and news stories. They are investigating the disappearance of Zoe Nolan, a college student at Manchester University. A body was never found, but through interviews of those close to the case Evelyn begins finding answers.

From the beginning, we get a feeling that something bad has happened to Evelyn, as the writer Joseph Knox has finished the manuscript in your hands and completed Evelyn’s work. The novel is told in a style that mimics World War Z or Daisy Jones and The Six. Fans of unconventionally styled narratives and true crime will lose themselves in this text.

The Verdict

From the first page, I read front to back. Seven hours, 381 pages. I didn’t even stop for sustenance: I shoved food in my mouth with this book in my other hand. You’ll never see the reveal coming and this novel keeps you on edge for the entire 381 pages. For this novel to be so long, I never found myself wishing we were at the conclusion yet. It is easy to wish the author could get to it in thrillers and “true crime,” but I even wanted more when I finished this book. Knox has outdone himself and created a novel that will captivate audiences for years to come.

This novel seems to be quite underground and hasn’t picked up a ton of momentum, but it surely deserves a spotlight.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)
About the Author

Sarah Moon is a stone-cold sorceress from Tennessee whose interests include serial killers, horror fiction, and the newest dystopian blockbuster. Sarah holds an M.A. in English Literature and an M.F.A. in Fiction Writing. She works as an English professor as well as a cemeterian. Sarah is most likely to cover horror in print including prose, poetry, and graphic forms.

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