ARC Book Review: I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick

(Last Updated On: June 8, 2020)

Do you like unputdownable twisty mysteries that keep you guessing? You need to pick up I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick!

I Killed Zoe Spanos is a Rebecca-inspired true crime YA mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end! Click To Tweet

About I Killed Zoe Spanos

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books  |  Release Date: June 30, 2020  |  Pages: 384
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller  |  Format: eBook  |  Source: Publisher via Netgalley

I Killed Zoe Spanos coverFor fans of Sadie and Serial, this gripping thriller follows two teens whose lives become inextricably linked when one confesses to murder and the other becomes determined to uncover the real truth no matter the cost.

What happened to Zoe won’t stay buried…

When Anna Cicconi arrives to the small Hamptons village of Herron Mills for a summer nanny gig, she has high hopes for a fresh start. What she finds instead is a community on edge after the disappearance of Zoe Spanos, a local girl who has been missing since New Year’s Eve. Anna bears an eerie resemblance to Zoe, and her mere presence in town stirs up still-raw feelings about the unsolved case. As Anna delves deeper into the mystery, stepping further and further into Zoe’s life, she becomes increasingly convinced that she and Zoe are connected—and that she knows what happened to her.

Two months later, Zoe’s body is found in a nearby lake, and Anna is charged with manslaughter. But Anna’s confession is riddled with holes, and Martina Green, teen host of the Missing Zoe podcast, isn’t satisfied. Did Anna really kill Zoe? And if not, can Martina’s podcast uncover the truth?

Inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, Kit Frick weaves a thrilling story of psychological suspense that twists and turns until the final page.

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My Review of I Killed Zoe Spanos

eARC photo of I Killed Zoe Spanos

✨ You can read an excerpt over at Hypeable!

This was such an incredibly fun and twisty read! I Killed Zoe Spanos has multiple threads working together in concert, keeping the reader guessing on what to believe until the last pages. Effortlessly plotted and utterly bingeable, this book is the must-read mystery for this summer!

A Rebecca-inspired true crime story set in the Hamptons, Frick crafts a thrilling contemporary mystery that appeals to true crime and podcast lovers. Frick’s passion for true crime shines through, and the addition of podcast episodes into the narrative adds an interesting layer to trying to uncover the truth.

I love it when mysteries have split timelines and multiple threads. I Killed Zoe Spanos starts with a confession in the “now” and alternates with “then” chapters until the timelines eventually meet in the last sixth of the book. It adds to the sense of trying to connect the dots, trying to see the clues to piece together how Anna got to “now.”

“Secrets don’t stay secret for long in Herron Mills.”

It’s the summer before her freshman year at college, and Anna is in need of a fresh start. She takes a summer nanny job for a family in the Hamptons over the summer to leave her partying past behind, but steps into a mystery she can’t escape or explain. The community of Herron Mills is still reeling from the disappearance of Zoe Spanos last winter.

The characters and the character descriptions are so vivid. All of the characters are layered and fully-fledged, and I came to care for each of them even though I didn’t trust a damn soul. While the cast of characters is overwhelmingly white, I appreciated the discussion of race, riches, and the intersectionality of privilege, as well as the mental illness acceptance.

“Answers – solid, definitive – let you sleep at night.”

Between the “now” and “then” chapters are randomly interspersed podcast episodes. It’s reminiscent of Sadie in that it shares interviews with friends of Zoe and provides an analytical look at the police’s handling of the case. I love the personal and human element that the podcasts episodes give to Zoe’s case. Where Sadie’s podcast is an investigative journalist, Missing Zoe is produced by teenager Martina, friend of Zoe’s sister and aspiring journalism major currently. She just wants to provide closure for her best friend’s family and the community.

There are a lot of threads going on but I loved the feeling of tension and unease that it left me with while reading. I truly didn’t know who to trust or even what the timeline was at times! This may be a problem for some readers, but it worked for me tantalizingly well.

Frick’s writing is vivid and flows. I love how much attention to detail she provides while maintaining a fast paced and tense narrative. I was able to picture myself burning on the beach along with Anna, wind in my hair and the laughter of children in the air.

While I Killed Zoe Spanos is my first Kit Frick read, it will not be my last. I devoured this book in two days and it effectively helped cure some quarantine slump blues for me! I loved this book so much and highly recommend it to fans of twisty mysteries that keep you guessing!

Content warnings: absent parenting, alcohol abuse, death, loss of a loved one, murder, underage drinking and drug use
Representation: adoptee rep (Caden), biracial rep (Caden), poverty rep (Anna)

eARC provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. This did not affect the contents of my review. Quotations are from an uncorrected proof and may be changed upon final publication. I have pre-ordered a finished copy.

Preorder Incentive

If this book sounds like something you would enjoy, I encourage you to pre-order yourself a copy!

♦ The first edition hardcover will have blue sprayed edges. (First printing only!)
♦ The audiobook will feature a full-cast recording!

✨ Pre-order incentive: Receive a bookmark, sticker, and $2 donation to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children will be made for every copy that is pre-ordered with receipt submitted by June 29th.

Are you a fan of books like Sadie that include podcast elements? Have you read I Killed Zoe Spanos yet or is it on your TBR? Let’s chat your favorite YA mysteries!

spacer_wLet’s go on another adventure together!


  1. Eustacia Tan

    June 9, 2020 at 1:21 AM

    Oooh, I loved Sadie and Rebecca! This sounds like an amazing book!

    1. Kal

      September 19, 2020 at 8:29 PM

      Me too, me too! I really enjoyed this one and you might, too! Thanks for reading & commenting!

  2. Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books

    June 9, 2020 at 2:27 AM

    Ohhhh. This is making me very intrigued, thank you, Kal! I don’t often read mysteries like this one, but when I’m in the right mood for it, I love these kind of reads. I especially love stories switching between now and then timelines, they always make the read even more exciting! 🙂
    Fantastic review <3

    1. Kal

      September 19, 2020 at 8:32 PM

      I also don’t read a lot of mysteries… which is so weird because I LOVE them when I pick them up! Not sure if it’s a combo of just mixing up from fantasy and scifi, or if I just love these books… but they are so much fun. The switching of timelines with the podcast elements was done so well, too! Thanks for reading & commenting, love!

  3. Destiny @ Howling Libraries

    June 9, 2020 at 3:57 AM

    I’m so iffy on YA mysteries, but this sounds SO GOOD. I’m definitely going to have to see about checking it out! Great review, lovely!

    1. lauren

      June 12, 2020 at 12:10 PM

      me too! ive been burned too many times aha

      1. Kal

        September 19, 2020 at 8:38 PM

        I haven’t been burned yet so I find this so funny lol! I don’t read a lot of YA mysteries so that could be why, I am especially picky with them.

    2. Kal

      September 19, 2020 at 8:34 PM

      DO IT! I don’t read a lot of YA mysteries but tend to love the ones I pick up and this was so good! Thanks for reading & commenting, love! <3

  4. San

    June 10, 2020 at 12:41 AM

    I was thinking about reading this book and now you made me sure that I have to! Amazing review Kal!

    1. Kal

      September 19, 2020 at 8:35 PM

      Ahh, the best kind of compliment! Did you read it yet?! If so, I need to hear your thoughts on it, San!

  5. Luxe

    June 10, 2020 at 7:33 AM

    I’ve been looking forward to the release of this book the first time I’ve heard of it. It sounds so intriguing and books like these are my cup of tea! Loved your review, this definitely got me more psyched for the books. 😀

    1. Kal

      September 19, 2020 at 8:36 PM

      Ahhh thanks so much for your lovely comment, Luxe! Have you had a chance to read this one yet?

  6. Lindsi

    June 26, 2020 at 11:09 PM

    I’m starting this one tomorrow, and I cannot wait! I’m so happy to see you enjoyed it. 🙂
    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

    1. Kal

      September 19, 2020 at 8:43 PM

      Ahhh Lindsi, I hope you loved this one as much as I did!

  7. Meaghan

    July 24, 2020 at 5:13 PM

    I was already eyeballing this book, but Kal? You’ve completely sold me on it! 😍 I love murder mysteries so much, and the fact that it’s told in split timelines has the corner of my brain that likes solving mysteries spinning absolutely out of control! I suspect I’m going to take it as a challenge, piecing it all together, and that I’m going to LOVE IT.

    Fantastic review, as always!

    1. Kal

      September 19, 2020 at 9:52 PM

      AHHHHH, what a compliment! I loved this book so much and I think the split timelines was done so well! I hope you enjoy the book as much as I do… I bought two copies!

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