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The Pain Nurse (Cincinnati Casebooks) Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Series: Cincinnati Casebooks
  • Hardcover: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; First Edition edition (April 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590586247
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590586242
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.7 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,149,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The author of the David Mapstone series set in Phoenix (Cactus Heart, etc.) puts an interesting twist on the detective solving a mystery while bed-ridden scenario in this tense, well-crafted whodunit. A brief glimpse of a horrific murder scene in Cincinnati Memorial Hospital is enough to tell Will Borders, an ex-homicide cop who's recovering from the removal of a spinal cord tumor, that the crime resembles those committed by the killer dubbed the Mount Adams Slasher. The man convicted of the slasher's crimes, however, was caught, tried and executed. Cheryl Beth Wilson, the pain nurse specialist who discovered the victim, Dr. Christine Lustig, becomes a suspect once the police learn she had an affair with Lustig's husband. Borders, one of Wilson's patients, isn't even ambulatory as the two start sharing information about the case. Talton's authentic depiction of hospital life lends heft, as do his searing descriptions of Borders's physical pain and mental anguish during recovery. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

The author of the David Mapstone series set in Phoenix (Cactus Heart, etc.) puts an interesting twist on the detective solving a mystery while bed-ridden scenario in this tense, well-crafted whodunit. A brief glimpse of a horrific murder scene in Cincinnati Memorial Hospital is enough to tell Will Borders, an ex-homicide cop who's recovering from the removal of a spinal cord tumor, that the crime resembles those committed by the killer dubbed the Mount Adams Slasher. The man convicted of the slasher's crimes, however, was caught, tried and executed. Cheryl Beth Wilson, the pain nurse specialist who discovered the victim, Dr. Christine Lustig, becomes a suspect once the police learn she had an affair with Lustig's husband. Borders, one of Wilson's patients, isn't even ambulatory as the two start sharing information about the case. Talton's authentic depiction of hospital life lends heft, as do his searing descriptions of Borders's physical pain and mental anguish during recovery. --Publishers Weekly, 1/19/2009

More About the Author

Jon Talton is the author of ten novels, including the David Mapstone mysteries and the Cincinnati Casebooks.

His latest book is the mystery, The Night Detectives. In a starred review, Booklist wrote that the novel, "features tight prose and plotting and a pair of complex and fallible protagonists whose character development continues in a series that just keeps getting better."

Jon's award-winning work has been widely praised by the critics. The Washington Post BookWorld called Concrete Desert "More intelligent and rewarding than most contemporary mysteries." In a starred review, Booklist called it "a stunning debut." The Chicago Tribune lauded Camelback Falls for its "twisty and crafty" plot. For Dry Heat, Publishers Weekly wrote, "Taut prose helps tighten the screws, and the winning, sensitive portrayal of the Mapstones -- both of them a relief after too many hard-nosed PIs who are all gristle and no brain -- lends credibility to the noirish narrative."

Jon is also a veteran journalist and blogger. He is the economics columnist of the Seattle Times and is editor and publisher of the blog Rogue Columnist. Prior to that, he was a business and op-ed columnist for the Arizona Republic. He also worked for newspapers in San Diego, Denver, Dayton, Cincinnati and Charlotte.

Before journalism, he worked for four years as an ambulance medic in the inner city of Phoenix. He also was an instructor in theater at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Jon is a fourth-generation Arizonan now living in Seattle.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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A real page turner for mystery lovers.
P. Ed Agog
This is outside of his normal Phoenix based crime stories but is a very well written book.
K. Ross
This book was a good mystery with romance thrown in.
Stephanie Schock

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Melissa D. Allison on May 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
With each mystery he writes, Jon Talton moves closer to becoming a cross-over phenomenon with non-mystery readers who appreciate crisp, intelligent writing.

In "The Pain Nurse," he introduces a strong female protagonist -- Cheryl Beth Wilson, the pain nurse at Cincinnati Memorial Hospital -- and her patient "sidekick," Will Borders, who harbors painful secrets from his years as a homicide detective. Borders becomes obsessed with the murder of a doctor at the hospital, where he has just undergone spinal cord surgery.

Their relationship and pursuit of the killer are riveting and sometimes sweet. Even more exciting is the range and creativity that Talton demonstrates in his first novel that's not part of the excellent Mapstone series that established his mystery creds.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Scott Wiley on January 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Talton sets this new series in a Cincinnati hospital and focused on a pain nurse (one charged with pain management) and a recovering police detective. After a rather exciting set up, the novel fails to pay off. Lots of different threads, but none are tied up in a satisfying manner. For example, we learn that the pain nurse and the victim met in a bar earlier on the night of the killing. This is a secret that the nurse keeps from the police and frets will be told; when the circumstances are revealed, I wondered what the big deal was. Why did she feel that she had to keep it quiet?

Approaching (and during) the climatic scene, I was not really engaged. I read the words, but there was no feeling of excitement, danger, or tenseness. Then the book just stopped.

While I don't feel the book was a bad one, it just wasn't very engaging or interesting. It's the reading equivalent of a saltine cracker; it will quench your hunger for a mystery but but there's nothing flavorful or substantial to it. Okay, not great.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on April 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
At Cincinnati Memorial Hospital, Pain Nurse Specialist Cheryl Beth Wilson finds the corpse of Dr. Christine Lustig in an isolated office. The CPD homicide detectives quickly suspect Cheryl Beth killed the victim because of her affair with the deceased's spouse.

One of Cheryl Beth patients, just out of surgery removing a tumor on his spinal cord, former homicide cop Will Borders feels like he suffers from déjà vu when on his gurney heading back to his room he glimpses the crime scene. It eerily reminds him of the Mount Adams Slasher, who was caught, convicted and executed. Bed-ridden and in severe pain, he is unable to make the cops including his former partner listen to him. Instead Will directs Beth on investigating the crime while someone nearby watches her every move.

THE PAIN NURSE is an excellent refreshing investigative thriller starring a detective stuck in bed and his "legs"; mindful of Jeffrey Deaver's Lincoln Rhymes. The location plays a key part in this thriller as Jon Talton moves from Arizona (the Mapstone mysteries) to an Ohio hospital. Readers will feel empathy pain as Borders' aches are that descriptive; on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being hurting at Mt. Everest levels, he is a 12. However, it is the recuperating patient and his pain nurse who team up as an unlikely investigative duet searching for a killer.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Jon Talton's "The Pain Nurse" focuses on two intensely lonely people, forty-four year old Cheryl Beth Wilson, a pain management nurse in Cincinnati Memorial Hospital, and former homicide detective Will Borders. Will is slowly recuperating from surgery to remove a benign spinal cord tumor, but he is not yet mobile and he hurts a great deal. His pain is "a creature living inside him, pinned up in the fragile pharmaceutical cage." Will left homicide for a job in Internal Investigations, a move that did not endear him to his fellow cops. When Cheryl comes upon the mutilated corpse of her former colleague, Dr. Christine Lustig, she and Will team up to find the perpetrator of this vicious crime. Although he no longer has the authority to investigate murders, Will does not hesitate to express his opinion: Lustig was the victim of a serial killer whom he and Dodds had encountered before. Since Dodds doesn't like to be told how to do his job, he angrily rejects Will's theories.

Talton offers an engrossing look at the bureaucracy, political infighting, and stressful atmosphere of a modern hospital. Will's struggle to adjust to rehab and relearn basic living skills is inspiring and touching, while Cheryl Beth is the type of person we wish every nurse would be--an advocate for her patients. She believes that people suffering from intense pain often receive insufficient or incorrect medication, and she refuses to allow those in her care to suffer needlessly.

The weakest aspect of the book is the poorly developed and illogical plot. It makes no sense that Will, a man who can barely take care of his own needs, would wheel himself around the hospital trying to work a case. He and Cheryl Beth may gel as a romantic duo, but Sherlock Holmes and Watson they are not.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By PainMaestro on December 14, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
OK, I got this because I used to be a pain doc back in the 80's at UC hospital, and the book brings back memories of the old general hospital structure and of the city of Cincinnati (now that I no longer live there). Unfortunately, it really skimps on the technical aspects and challenges of pain management, and so as a thriller it really fails where other skilled novelist succeed- engrossing you in the story by virtue of the details of a new world/profession/city/setting. So, I enjoyed it but I'm a specific case. Most folks will find it a very average thriller.
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