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  • Summary

  • Contains strong language and adult themes.

    The idyllic quiet of a picture postcard English village is shattered when a book club member is murdered by his former student and lover. 

    But why would anyone kill a retired English teacher, a pillar of his community? Perhaps the answer lies in the trail of writing that he, and his killer, left behind: diaries, poems and novels.

    Documentary maker Gillian Pachter lifts the lace curtain to reveal a secret wedding, sordid affairs, drug abuse and psychological torture. She enlists the help of James, a former student of the victim, to try and uncover the truth. Buried memories from James' school days provide the final piece of the puzzle, and unlock a dark episode from Gillian’s own past.

    A Vespucci, Big Light and Dorothy Street production for Audible. Executive Producer: Frank Spotnitz.

    This original podcast is 8 episodes in total, please begin with “Ep. 1: The Knot”.

    ©2021 Audible, Ltd (P)2021 Audible, Ltd
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Episodes
  • Ep. 1: The Knot

    Sep 29 2021

    A tip-off from an old friend leads Gillian to seek the truth behind the murder of retired English teacher Peter Farquhar.

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    32 mins
  • Ep. 2: The Dark Circle

    Sep 29 2021

    Accompanied by James, a new acquaintance who seems to harbour secrets about the case, Gillian learns that the victim Peter is far more complex than he was depicted at court.

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    34 mins
  • Ep. 3: Truest Jest

    Sep 29 2021

    New information leads Gillian to question the prosecution’s narrative about killer Ben Field. She decides to use literary tools to unlock his motives.

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    32 mins

What listeners say about Killer Book Club

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Complex, Sad, Absorbing - non-objective review

Disclosure: I knew the victim of the murder described this podcast, I know the narrator/writer and I am briefly featured in a couple of episodes. So I am far from a casual listener and definitely bring my bias to this. Certainly, it was a very odd experience listening to it and suddenly hearing my voice, and the voices of old friends and teachers.

This is an absorbing, detailed and even handed account of a horrific crime, and the complex life of the victim, Peter Farquhar - teacher of literature, mentor, author and a man whose own long suppressed desires, ultimately led to his own murder.

Pachter unravels a case that at the time was covered sensationally and superficially and tells the story of a life only partially understood even by those, like me, who knew Peter well. There are times when you can feel the story-teller in her reach a little far, labor a little too hard to find meaning or draw conclusions where the truth is just messy and incomplete, but on the whole this does succeed in making a close reading of a man who, as a master of close reading himself, would have appreciated it.

5 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Author inserts self into story.

I didn't care for this style of presentation where the author is part of the story. But actually telling a different story. Don't recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Complete Trash.

Do not waste your time on this podcast. The first few episodes are bad enough. If you make it to episode 8 you will be disgusted, outraged and completely disappointed that Audible even has this on their site. Even the reaction the producer/ narrator has to the information of children being in what very much seems like a predator is disgusting.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Strangley gripping

The story would twist just when you thought you knew where it was going. I was hypnotized & only a full conclusion could break the trance.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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The “what” was convenient

The author was caught up in and among people with whom she could easily relate and admire. She drew her conclusion as to the “what” had happened and to me it fell flat. She had an easy scapegoat to a complex issue.

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  • EZ
  • 10-15-21

So well done, I thought it could be scripted fiction!

Several years ago, I got sucked into a podcast that I THOUGHT was true crime only to learn it was fiction — I felt like such an idiot! This podcast is presented SO well and the interviews are so engaging, I actually wondered if I was getting bamboozled again! Before the end of the first episode, I googled to confirm that I was indeed listening to a true crime podcast.

Compelling, but not overdone. The podcast introduces a truly extraordinary group of people and dives into a bizarre, twisty crime... but, there's so much more.

I LOVE this podcast and will probably listen to again, just reweave all the threads. Can't wait to hear more from Gillian Pachter.

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Interesting, Well Written and Well Told

Started listening out of curiosity. Continued listening because I was hooked! If you start this podcast, I believe that you will agree that this podcast is well worth your time.

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Great storytelling and addictive!

Excellent storytelling across a highly addictive podcast series. Be forewarned that it is hard not to binge listen to he whole thing at once. The author does a masterful job of unraveling the story over a few episodes from the perspective of both and an insider and an outsider.

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  • Rys2512
  • 09-30-21

True crime at its best

This is one of the best true crime podcasts I’ve listened to in a long time. It covers a case that is almost too shocking to be believed, and the presenter walks us through the story with elegance and with an intelligent personal angle. Highly recommended.

15 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • V Clark
  • 10-04-21

Fresh Eyes

I had seen a documentary about this case and so was expecting to hear much of the same with this podcast but it was so much more; sympathetic and with fresh eyes, it made me realise that there are always different sides to every situation and there are many threads that make a person. Really great. Would recommend.

12 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • person
  • 10-03-21

A compelling listen

Delighted that I found this series. A very interesting story told in a masterful way, well worth a listen if you enjoy true crime.

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • sunshine
  • 10-06-21

Transatlantic judgemental veiw of Britain

I sort of enjoyed listening to this, but had to keep over riding the judgemental comments and odd comments....the gloaming is what we all call dusk apparently. The whole church is judged on one mans comments. 70's laws of homosexuality exclaimed at from someone from Washington USA, also a country with rights and equality issues. I decided to think of it as journalistic with a lot of licence. It meant I could enjoy it.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Char Bris
  • 10-07-21

Captivating!

I found this podcast while on holiday in Rhodes and it was the perfect story for the perfect holiday. The characters were so interesting, the premise of the story very compelling and the emotional dynamics breathtaking. The ending was a bit too moralistic with everyone having an awakening was a bit much. Anyway good story!

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Kizzy Beagledore
  • 10-14-21

Great Potential Spoiled by Author's Ego

This was a real disappointment after reading some encouraging reviews. As a UK resident I was aware of the murder case this podcast explores and was interested to see what the author had unearthed .
Sadly while she has obviously done her research the author pads her material with some utterly unnecessary and frankly often insulting (from a British perspective) florid descriptive passages of her surroundings and her take on British life. The stereotyping of British village life and her hackneyed view of the reasons behind British reserve and it's dreadful consequences became increasingly annoying. As did the overuse of the dramatic holdover "until next time "at the end of each episode.
I stuck to it simply to hear the testimony from the actual witnesses but will not be looking for any more of Ms Pachters work. Her final summary was particularly poor and felt like a High School students book report rather than an adult's analysis of the data.
I gave it 2 stars only for the witness testimony content.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Paula Simpson
  • 10-07-21

Fascinating Story

Stumbled upon this. Glad I did.
Engaging and fascinating.
Thought provoking and we'll narrated.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • kat74
  • 10-07-21

Quite like these true crime podcasts

It's - old world village - secrets and lies.
Well told story, quite sad.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ella H.
  • 10-10-21

fantastic

loved this, beautifully told and an important topic matter. I'd never heard about this before listening.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-09-21

Good but not great

A good story, but I was hindered by the author's constant need to draw attention to his own story. the author has an interesting approach to the story through literature and gives many links to literature but lacks a psychological portrait of the perpetrator who was obviously a psychopathic personality.

1 person found this helpful