“An elderly couple who lived in a Forest Town house where two bodies have been
found in the garden mysteriously disappeared in the late 1990s, neighbours have
claimed” – Andy Done-Johnson, Mansfield Chad, Friday October 11, 2013.
This is where it all started for me one drizzly Friday almost seven years ago now. I was in the office when I was made aware of a police tent in the back garden of a house in Forest Town, Mansfield. It took over my professional life for over a year – The Wycherley Murders: the story of my career as a journalist.
Now, in early 2020 I will be publishing my novel – A Garden of Bones – about the gruesome murders of William and Patricia Wycherley, killed by their own daughter and son-in-law – Susan and Christopher Edwards – and buried in their own back garden.
Neighbours all assumed they had just moved away. The Edwards sent letters and Christmas cards to relatives, keeping the Wycherleys ‘alive’ in the eyes of the world while they stole hundreds of thousands of pounds in money owed to William and Patricia. Here is what the journalist and broadcaster Jenny Kleeman had to say about A Garden of Bones . . .
“An extraordinary, stranger-than-fiction story told with an incredible eye for detail by the man who knows it best. Dark and compelling.”Jenny Kleeman
So why now? In fairness this novel has taken me more than three years to write, and came about after I was contacted by a number of true crime producers wanting me to talk about the case for documentaries. Then the BBC came along, talking about making a drama about the case, so I spoke to them as well.
And I thought, ‘”You know what? I know more about this story than pretty much anyone else alive. Write a book. Tell your story, and tell their story – tell the story of William and Patricia, tell the story of Susan and Christopher . . . why they did it and how they were eventually caught.”
I’d always planned to publish A Garden of Bones this year but then, out of the blue, I heard that Olivia Colman was preparing to play Susan Edwards in a major new drama called Landscapers. So now is the time, and here we go.
I’m in the run up now – cover designers and typesetters have been commissioned, ISBN numbers being sorted and I’m looking at March 2020 as my launch date. I will keep you posted.