cover image The Pain Nurse

The Pain Nurse

Jon Talton, Author . Poisoned Pen $24.95 (228p) ISBN 978-1-590

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.)