adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B0821SC3ZP
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B0821SC3ZP

Try our newest plan – unlimited listening to select audiobooks, Audible Originals, and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
$7.95 a month after 30 day trial. Upgrade or cancel anytime.
  • 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
    Show more Show less
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.

    Show more Show less
    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.

    Show more Show less
    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.

    Show more Show less
    32 mins

What listeners say about Killer Book Club

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    88
  • 4 Stars
    23
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    11
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    86
  • 4 Stars
    19
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    7
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    84
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    7

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

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.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Not worth the time

The author would not get out of the way. She kept inserting her own opinion and attitudes. She really ruined a good story.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

I kept waiting for this to get better and it never really did. Yes, there is an interesting story here of murder and mystery. But in my opinion it was dragged out and ended up being a let down! I felt like the author/narrator kept building up to some big climax but it kinda fizzled. Sorry I wasted my time on this one. DIdn’t have to be an eight episode podcasts 2 or 3 at best!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Really recommend!

This was the first podcast series I’ve listened to on audible and I loved it. I loved the female voice and the setting up of each characters. I loved how you remembered to remind us features about previously spoken about characters especially because that can become confusing when listening instead of reading!

I thought the narrators involvement would have been more drastic since she said it brought in some of her past but it wasn’t as significant and she head lined it at the start of the podcast first episode and then at the last episode.

It was a great piece absolutely smashed through it, very entertaining and a good voice to listen to - unlike many other crime series that send you right to sleep (and not in a good way). I disagree with a comment I saw that said it could have been two episodes. Completely absolutely disagree. There was so much to it that it needed all the episodes to build up who everyone was and the significance of every detail and twist and turn and background and foreground!!! It really put you there and you are able to construct such a clear picture of where everything is and what it looks like, especially for me since it is such a different place to the tone of Australian small towns!

Something to be very proud of, so much time was put into this and it has definitely shown! Well done!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

This podcast is about Gillian Pachter not Peter or Ben

The author is THE most self absorbed woman on the face of the plant. She makes EVERYTHING in the whole podcast about her. Honest to god, she mentions her Oxford eduction more times than I can count. She literally says at one point that the murderer (whom she does not know) sent HER on a fools errand searching for his motive. Ma’am, he doesn’t know you. He never knew you were going to do a podcast. You didn’t have to. You CHOSE to. And frankly, not even a good one. The story itself is interesting and I kept pressing on to find out what happened but the narrator/author is absolutely obnoxious in making it all about her and I’m so disappointed. I’m especially disappointed in Audible for making this an editor’s pick.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • T
  • 11-16-21

Naive journalist...

For a narrator that starts this series talking about her career as a crime journalist, she seems to be completely scandalized by the lies of a convicted murderer, infidelity, and celibate old queens fantasizing about younger guys. This story (like a lot of Audible podcasts) is a few episodes too long and shoves too much of the narrators personal story down your throat.

It's fine. It's just.... fine.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great listen-held my interest which isn’t easy

I prefer audiobooks but I tried this podcast and loved it. I listened to the whole thing straight in one day.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

could not get into

could not listen to female narrator. Her voice seemed to fade in and out all the time.

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kizzy Beagledore
  • 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.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Rys2512
  • 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.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for sunshine
  • 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.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for V Clark
  • 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.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for person
  • 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.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for M Isaac
  • M Isaac
  • 10-18-21

Overly dramatic - annoying editing - egotistical

Warning spoilers:

I'm not really sure where to begin with this. I did listen this to podcast to the end, but it was a struggle at times. I really have a problem with podcasts dealing with true crime, especially murder, where it really seems like the author is trying to sell their book (or podcast) more than present a sympathetic portrayal of the events. This podcast falls on the wrong side of the edge here; but worse than that, it really tries to overdramatise events that have ruined lives.

The author has managed to befriend the friends and family of numerous victims and I would love to hear what they make of this. You get to hear their accounts which is great, but it's sandwiched between awful editing, especially on the Serialesque summary at the end meant to entice you to the next episode, and the GIGANTIC EGO of the podcast creator. Did I mention she read at Oxford University?

She constantly over-analyses everything, but from a safe distance of years after all the facts must have been known - but either is so incompetant she didn't happen to read a newspaper or more likely deliberately playful with her timeline to make it seem like she's Sherlock Holmes working out stuff that would have been easily accessible knowledge. She says herself she picked up the story when it was going through court - so the police had already presented their case. It's actually quite hilarious to summarise this entire podcast as:

Journalist hears about court case, listens to police story, says "we'll see about that" and then finally says "yeah so the police had it all along". IE utterly pointless and it really feels like the entire run of episodes is to satisfy the author's ego. Perhaps the only thing "new" she actually uncovers is that the victim was quite possibly a paedophile, and then ruminates that it possibly wasn't a bad thing as he might have been a good teacher?! Best not gaze in to that abyss too long or it will ruin our soppy ending about identifying with the victim and that the killer doesn't get poetry because he's some kind of evil robot.

There are so many instances of massive over-explanation of really obvious points, so many times that her killer-instinct is dragged out over the entire episode only to result in what we could have all seen a mile off. The way the podcast drip-feeds information feels inappropriate because it is not done in a sensitive manner, it is merely done to drum up more drama and make it feel like the story is progressing along at a pace akin to conditional formatting on a typed document. Everything is spaced-out evenly but it feels artificial as a result, and a result of it being inauthentic is that it feels insincere.

I mean even the name feels like some cheap holiday book, perhaps trying to tag along on some of the fame of Richard Osman's crime books. It has literally nothing to do with the book club. The guy was his student from university.

Don't even get me started on the totally failed analogy of the "too quiet village" like we're to imagine a normally bustling country village silenced because everyone is afraid to go outside like Tombstone. I mean seriously give it a rest, its quiet because its in the countryside. End of. Your Goosebumps level scene-setting is only eclipsed by the constant annoying-as-hell whistling music that plays all the time and would be more suited for some kind of car supermarket advert.

There are also times that it almost verges on voyeuristic. For instance, talking about the blowjob phone photo. It was presented in a way where it was built up and up and then bam. Come on, we're talking about a very elderly victim here. There were other times too where it felt like the author was on a jolly with the ex student of Stow. You could hear them almost giggling as they're playing Famous 5 and it just felt entirely disrespectful. I can't really put my finger on why, I mean all true crime podcast-makers have to do this - so maybe it's down to the editing? All I can say is that the author accuses the killer of being unemotional and uncaring and honestly I got this vibe from the podcast as well. There are definite moments of sincerity, particularly in the interviews and testimonials, but every time it would default back to "ok so you've heard that and now my hugely important opinion is this_" and then you'd get fed some over-reaching yet somehow overly-simplistic drivel explained to you like you were six.

The story is interesting, I will say that much. And it's interesting because it's true.

But please, Gillian Pachter, I implore you to stop trying to present your opinions and ruminations on an equal footing with the events and people of this story. I do not care about your "What", which sounds about as original as deconstructed crumble. I don't care that you went to a prestigeous university, for the 45th time. I do not care that you've somehow managed to dedicate "years" to something and somehow uncovered almost nothing new over the original police report. I DO care that you seem to dole out real people's names and what they've done like there are no consequences (and I'm not talking about the killer here) because it feels like a nifty segue for you to shoehorn yourself in to the story.

Honestly the whole thing almost feels like a Youtube reaction video, and that makes me incredibly frustrated.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kindle Customer
  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-08-21

Wasted Opportunity

WARNING SPOILERS IN FINAL PARAGRAPH

Firstly i found the narrators navel gazing and judgemental views really irritating - an American judging the UK on 70’s attitudes? Seriously?

Secondly personally I find the mimicking of the ‘Serial’ podcast format getting a bit tired now. In the efforts to have a ‘reveal’ at the end of every episode it made the narrator appear somewhat lacking in IQ. Most of the ‘reveals’ (including the supposedly biggest one) were perfectly obvious from episode one.

But the thing that irritated me the most was the missed opportunity for a genuinely interesting and different take on the narrative. At it’s heart this is the story of a paedophile who abused a position of trust and then told his vulnerable young partner that he was so ashamed to be with him they had to hide their relationship. Looking into that would have been a far more interesting story. Was Ben ‘evil’ from moment one? Or was he a vulnerable young man (who had also grown up being ashamed of his sexuality) who was preyed upon by a damaged but ultimately calculating predator who then broke down in those circumstances to become a killer?

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Char Bris
  • 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!

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-07-21

Interesting story which deserved to be told

I did have issues with the author/narrator and her views on English society. But the story is interesting - as another reviewer put it in the interest of a story I decided to overlook some of the judgements and opinions expressed by the author.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Paula Simpson
  • Paula Simpson
  • 10-07-21

Fascinating Story

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

5 people found this helpful