My Review (5 stars out of 5)
In post-war Britain, teenager Graham Young developed an interest in poisons. Reading and researching everything he could about his soon-to-be obsession, the fourteen-year-old landed himself in court after trying out his experiments on people. Charged with poisoning a schoolfriend and members of his own family, he was diagnosed with a multiple personality disorder and whisked off to Broadmoor hospital. On his release from Broadmoor several years later, Graham was deemed ‘cured’ and found employment with Hadlands, a photographic supplies company. As a junior storeman, Graham had the opportunity to make tea and coffee for his colleagues and very soon several staff members became ill…
Though barely a teenager myself at the time, I remember reading about Graham Young after his second trial. However, I recall only a few of the details surrounding the committed poisoner, so on discovering the brilliant Carol Ann Lee had penned a book about him, I couldn’t resist. Previous books I’ve read by the same author (Fine Day for a Hanging and The Murders at Whitehouse Farm) have always been meticulously researched and related with a high degree of skill, and this book is no different. What is truly frightening about Graham Young’s story are the series of mistakes and misjudgements made by people in authority who should have known better, allowing Young to leave Broadmoor and go on to murder two of his new colleagues at Hadlands and poison several others.
Though the level of detail is at times mind-boggling, this is nevertheless a fascinating and scary book.