I was delighted to be offered the opportunity to read and review A Plot to Kill by Professor David Wilson. I am a huge fan of his work and was lucky enough to meet and spend time chatting with him at Bloody Scotland a couple of years ago. A most fascinating man!
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
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
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.
In A Plot to Kill, Professor David Wilson, once again brings a case to his readers and presents them with an in-depth and fascinating exploration into the who’s and why’s. True Crime can often be ghoulish or gratuitous but David Wilson makes the professional accessible as he explores, not only the mind of a killer, but also the concepts of community, religion, sexuality and society’s view of the elderly. How could one man groom a whole community and almost get away with murder? What motivates someone to kill? And what part of the church’s attitude towards homosexuality play in ensuring the crime went unnoticed? These are just some of the issues explored in this book.
Professor David Wilson has a real talent for unravelling the mysteries of the mind and the research that goes into understanding why people commit such terrible crimes, he presents his research in a way that makes it accessible without dumbing down his profession. The case is covered sensitively, there is no gratuitous coverage of the crime. This is a must for lovers of true crime but also for those with an interest in forensic psychology and in human behaviour.
A Plot to Kill can be purchased via:
About the author:
David Wilson is Emeritus Professor of Criminology and the founding Director of the Centre for Applied Criminology at Birmingham City University. Prior to taking up an academic appointment in 1997, David was a Prison Governor and at 29 became the youngest governing governor in England.
He worked at Grendon, Wormwood Scrubs and at Woodhill in Milton Keynes – where he helped to design and then ran the two units for the 12 most violent prisoners in the country, which brought him into contact with many recent serial killers. David regularly appears in the print and broadcast media as a commentator and presenter. One of his recent documentaries was the critically acclaimed Interview with a Murderer for Channel 4 in June 2016. In 2017 the documentary won the Broadcast Award and the Royal Television Society Award.