A dual timeline… “Now” and “Then.” A murder confession. One word that controls the plot: Murky!
It is summer vacation and the small towns on Long Island are opening up to all the tourists of the season. But the year-long residents of Herron Mills are still reeling from the disappearance of local college student, Zoe Spanos. Anna Cicconi has arrived for her summer nanny job and is immediately recognized as a virtual doppelgänger of Spanos, and this brings her into the missing girl’s circle. A friend’s sister who is producing a podcast looking into the possible crime, a biracial ex-boyfriend who is still suspected of wrongdoing, and a family who is grieving. Anna feels compelled to investigate… some out of boredom and some out of true curiosity.
One thread leaps ahead a couple months when Zoe’s body is found and Anna almost immediately confesses to the murder. But people close to the case see too many holes in her story and question why Anna has put herself in this position. This is when the book really takes off. Coupled with the backstory put forth by podcast, the investigation really starts to get off the ground with a series of twists and turns that left me questioning all the characters.
This is a fun one! I found the mystery very satisfying. Sure, the ending is a bit fanciful, but the run up is worth it. I liked the Long Island, small-town setting, and the relationships Frick sets up between the townies and the Brooklyn nanny. So many secrets in this town!
I have one minor criticism: I didn’t think the blurb’s comparison to Serial and Sadie was apt just because I feel like this book is much different than those stories. Sadie was larger in scale and just throwing out Serial as a connection feels contrived, like it is only mentioned because it’s probably the most popular crime podcast. I guess I’d just rather that I Killed Zoe Spanos would stand on its own, which I think it definitely can and should.
4 out of 5 stars.
Thank you to NetGalley, Simon and Schuster Publishing, and the author for an advanced copy for review.