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Summary

The shocking story of the murder of Peter Farquhar and the churchwarden who groomed and betrayed him, from the UK's leading criminologist David Wilson

Two deaths.

Three doors apart.

An unsuspecting community about to realise there's a killer in their midst.

In October 2015, Peter Farquhar was found dead in his house in Maids Moreton, lying on the sofa next to a bottle of whisky. An inquest was made, and Peter's death was quickly ruled an accident.

But after the death of another elderly neighbour, the dreadful truth began to emerge: both victims had been groomed, seduced and mentally tortured by a young man, Benjamin Field, who had used his position of power in the community to target and exploit the elderly.

He almost got away with it.  

Very little shocks criminologist David Wilson, but this extraordinary case in his sleepy hometown astounded him. Wilson felt duty-bound to follow its trail, discovering how his tightknit community failed to intervene, how a psychopath went undetected for years, and how Peter unwittingly supplied the blueprint for his own murder.

A Plot to Kill is a chilling, gripping account of a callous murder in the heart of middle England, a fight for justice and a revealing insight into the mind of a killer.

©2021 David Wilson (P)2021 Hachette Audio UK

Critic reviews

"[A] real-life Midsomer Murder...it's chilling, but [David Wilson's] explanation of how a psychopath thinks is masterly." (The Times)

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  • 19-06-21

A straw-grasping masterclass

When a book begins with a quote from Freud, you know you're in trouble. It's a long time since I've read, or listened to, such a circuitous, conceited coagulation of irrelevances as present in this offering.

Ostensibly about the events and personalities surrounding the murder of Peter Farquhar, the narrative leads you anywhere but. Whether it's an in-depth analysis of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, or a history of the meritless town of Buckingham, or the politics of university life or indeed chapter and verse on the interests and activities of the author, we read of anything but what the reader reasonably expects.

Mr Wilson, by his own admission, was unable to find out any new factual information pertinent to the topic. Undeterred, he settles into an interminable analysis of a series of largely unrelated aspects, making in the process a serious of tenuous and often absurd connections between, say, what the victim wrote in a fictional novel, and what actually happened in real life.

If you want to find out about the events surrounding the murder it will take you ten minutes. Go online, read Wikipedia and a look up a few old news articles. Afterwards, nothing in this book will come as a surprise. Ironically, Mr Wilson is quick to point out how local people were reluctant to talk about the murder; I suggest he can count himself amongst their number. It seems to me he felt compelled to write a book about the murder just because it occurred in his home town, despite the fact he had nothing to add to the information already out there. I wish he had resisted that urge.

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Clear analysis of a murder

Lived up to all expectations. A clear analysis of a grim murder of a kindly, perhaps naive, man, looking at the motivations of the killer, but keeping the victim 'front and centre' throughout. Enjoyed the literary references and comparisons (won't spoil the book for others by naming them). I'd heard of the case previously, had seen a TV program about it some time ago and will follow up by looking at some of the resources David used in his research for the book. As always, a riveting listen and beautifully read by the author himself.

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Midsomer Murders this is not!!

I have read many of David Wilson's books and always found them to be informative and most importantly of all not salacious in detail that sticking to the facts of any case that he is studying.

I watched the ITV documentary about this case and was very pleased when I heard that the author was writing a book about it, the author has intimate knowledge of the crime due to his association with living in the area, and also has access to the people involved and associates.

For me this book is one of the scariest bookseller read, this book talks about the gradual grooming of a older gentleman by younger man in full view of the village, for me this is the most frightening aspect of the book is nobody considered that there was anything untoward about the relationship between the older man and the younger trainee priest people often assume grooming is to do with children… Clearly this can also be a crime that adults are victim of too.

The narration is excellent and is read by the author which is always good. Your thousand and meticulous in his research and understanding of the motive of the crime, what is very interesting indeed is the authors damning of a religious institution that encourages suppression of sexuality, which I agree with the author had a significant part to play in this horrific crime.

If you get a chance watch the documentary on ITV you do not need to have seen the documentary to enjoy this book, this book may not be your run-of-the-mill murder mysteries but believe you me when you look at the intricate web of how this came to be and it sending it ends up being a very frightening read indeed.

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Highly recommended

Brilliant book! After watching the channel 4 interpretation I thought it might spoil the book but it didn’t disappoint. Brilliant, detailed, investigation as always by Professor David Wilson. So much detail, I’ll have to listen to it again! Look forward to his next book!

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Became a yawn

I like the authors work...but this became a long winded yawn.....not enough about the couples interaction....too much academic claptrap.....