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Publisher's Summary

'The whole story is so terrible. You will be disgusted and amazed.' (Graham Young, confessing his crimes to detectives)

There are few criminal cases more astonishing yet less well-known than that of Graham Young. A quintessentially British crime story, it involves two sensational trials, murders both certain and probable, a clutch of forgiving relatives, and scores of surviving victims. 

A Passion for Poison tells the absorbing life of master poisoner, Graham Young, who killed many 10s of people in a murderous career, which began as a 13 year-old schoolboy in a north-west London suburb, with the murder of his step-mother in 1960 before culminating in four further life sentences in 1971. 

Best-selling true crime writer Carol Ann Lee takes the listener on an extraordinary journey through suburban streets with which we are all familiar, but where the commonplace - dull, even - soon becomes oppressively sinister. Set against the backdrop of modern Britain, from post-war austerity to the gloom and glam of the 1970s, it sheds light on a rapidly changing society and a gruesome British true crime story.

©2021 Carol Ann Lee (P)2021 Bonnier Books UK

What listeners say about A Passion for Poison

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  • genie
  • 02-05-22

Loved the detail of Carol Ann lees writing

And the narration of Colin Mace
Excellant all round listening. I listened to this whilst driving

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  • A7R7HAYES
  • 08-11-21

The Young Poisoner

Very well written with excellent narration.
Graham Young is a strange, complex individual who committed appalling crimes.
Fascinating true crime story. Highly recommended!

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  • Colin61
  • 01-28-22

You never know your work colleagues

Carol Anne Lee delivers true crime again with a lesser known story well written interesting chilling especially as the main character was a friend & colleague to his victims

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  • Shaun
  • 01-08-22

keep an eye on who makes your tea

I struggled to get into this book but once I had I really enjoyed it. I've listened to numerous podcasts about Graham Young and it was great to listen to the story in much greater detail. I still find it astounding that poisons were so easily available and open to abuse. a good listen / read.

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  • Squeaky Joe
  • 10-10-21

A fascinating and scary book.

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 colleagues and poison several others.

Though the level of detail is at times mind-boggling, this is nevertheless a fascinating and scary book.

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  • Janice
  • 09-06-21

fascinating, excellent, superb detail

apart from all the voices sounding like they had come out of London in the 1800s .....
Very in-depth detail in this book, so you understand every individual, not just the perpetrator and his actions. Well written, well read for the most part. Worthwhile.

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  • Georgie lamont
  • 06-25-22

Very Interesting

This audible book was so interesting I had never heard of this case . So sad that people died due to lack of communication between hospitals police and the court system.LIstened to over a couple of days and made you think about the poor people that really were just there to be used as experiments .

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  • Steve Donnelly
  • 06-13-22

Really enjoyed this

Very full deep dive into a largely forgotten case these days. Pity there was not more about his time in prison after his second conviction

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  • david m
  • 06-02-22

Very absorbing

This book is written in such a way that you feel that you are closely involved. It’s very well written, and shows what happened from all aspects.

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  • Melmo25
  • 05-08-22

Could have been brilliant

I had high hopes for this but have to say I found my attention wondering on more than a few occasions.
I found the narration to be rather dry and stilted which put me off
Fascinating story though and lots of information and history on poison and Broadmoor