Author: Kayla Hounsell
Publisher: Nimbus Publishing
Genre: Nonfiction, Crime
Source: Book Expo 2019
Goodreads: A murder, a missing body, and a sensational trial that shocked the community.
Will Sandeson seemed like a model son. A member of the Dalhousie University track and field team, he was about to start classes at Dalhousie’s medical school. He had attended a medical school in the Caribbean; he worked at a group home for adults with disabilities. “There’s times for whatever reason that things don’t go quite as planned,” a Halifax police officer told Sandeson shortly after he was arrested for the first-degree murder of Taylor Samson, who also, on the surface, seemed like a model son. Samson lived in a fraternity house near Dalhousie, and when the six-foot-five physics student disappeared without a trace, the focus eventually turned to Sandeson.
Sandeson’s trial, with surprising testimony and the unanswered question of what happened to Samson’s body, gripped the university city for months. Through interviews with friends and relatives, as well as transcripts of the trial and Sandeson’s police interrogation, award-winning journalist Kayla Hounsell paints a complex portrait of both the victim and killer, two young men who seemed destined for bright futures. First Degree includes previously unpublished photos and details never made public until now.
Ope’s Opinion: First you need to know, this is not my usual read. I am a fiction reader most of the time. This book caught my attention when we were getting ready to go to Book Expo this year. I couldn’t imagine how a med student got caught up in a murder, so I wanted to read about it.
For me, there were too many details that didn’t seem important to the case or helping me understand what happened and why it happened. I got lost a few times in the legal system – I do think this book should be a required read for a law student.
The epilogue had more to do with how the university was going to change their way of selecting students, then where everyone was at the present time. I wanted to know how the families were of both Will and Taylor, I wanted to know where their girlfriends are now and how Will’s brothers are doing.